By way of comparison, in 2017, SAF responded to 23 cases of negative floral publicity at Valentine's Day. In 2016, SAF responded to 23 cases; 16 cases in 2015; 16 in 2014; 10 cases in 2013; 18 in 2012; and 39 in 2011.
As the voice of the floral industry, SAF contacts companies that disparage flowers and asks them to reconsider their approach.
"The main point of SAF's response is to bring attention to the disparaging floral statements and ask advertisers to promote products on their own merits," said SAF's Jenny Scala, director of marketing and communications. "Success comes when the advertiser ceases running that particular promotion or at least takes note not to go that route in the future."
The advertisers who replied to SAF's concerns:
- Dairy Queen posted on Facebook: "So skip the roses and go for the cake this Valentine's Day!" Dairy Queen Director of Communications Dean Peters: "Because we know how vitally important florists are to our local and national economy, American Dairy Queen Corporation ceased running that post in the United States a few years ago. Unfortunately, our Canadian system mistakenly included it in this year's Valentine's social campaign. We have asked that they do not include this message in any future Valentine's Day promotions and we can assure you that it will not run again. We certainly didn't mean to offend anyone and we sincerely hope that American, as well as Canadian florists, had a fantastic Valentine's Day."
- Easton Press, a retailer of leather-bound books, posted on Facebook: "Tired of flowers and candy every year? Try this (she'll love it!)" Two hours later, Roseann Gagliardo, Associate Manager of Customer Service at Easton Press, replied: "It was certainly not our intent to convey a negative statement towards flowers, but rather to present our product as a less traditional option for Valentine's Day. Again, our apologies for any misunderstanding."
- 2 Buckets Cleaning posted on Facebook: "We don't want flowers again." Six hours after SAF sent an email, the company responded: "We would love to team up with any florists who service the Boulder, CO area and offer a Valentine's Day Special."
- Verilux sent an email that read: "Flowers wilt, chocolates melt, but happy keeps on giving." Charlotte Addison, vice president of marketing replied 15 minutes later: "I see how this comes across as a jab, which was unintended, and we will ensure the approach you suggest is adopted going forward. On a personal note, my mother was a floral designer and owned a small garden shop in New Rochelle, N.Y,. for over 50 years so your note struck a chord with me. I appreciate your taking the time to reach out. Nothing makes me happier than flowers, it reminds me of home."
- Wixon Jewelers advertised in the StarTribune: "Skip the flowers and candy this Valentine's Day" and posted on Facebook "Roses die and chocolates melt." Wixon Jewelers Director of Marketing Jayme Pretzloff replied two hours later: "I completely understand your position and I agree with the sentiments in your message. Although the ad copy wasn't meant to trivialize other industries or portray negativity, you're right in that it did have a negative undertone. I apologize for the inherent negative nature of the ad because we always aim for our marketing to be light and amusing. Our intention was for the messaging to be tongue-in-cheek and cute, rather than insulting florists and chocolatiers."
Forward harmful floral publicity to Scala at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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