Does Teleflora Have A History Of Insensitivity?


According to several tipsters, Teleflora is sending apologies and coupons to people who complained about the company’s sexist Super Bowl ad, but it isn’t the first time the online florist has delivered a misogynistic message.

During the Super Bowl, Teleflora ran this commercial, which shows talking rotten flowers insulting a woman, snapping, “no one wants to see you naked.” The comments on Teleflora’s Flower Blog sum up how offended people were by the ad, but don’t think that only ten people bothered to complain to the company. According to a tip, the company has been rotating the ten different complaints, and the angry comment the tipster submitted still hasn’t shown up.

Several readers emailed the company directly with their complaints, and forwarded us the following response from Teleflora:

We are very sorry that we offended you in any way by our commercial.
Despite the fact that we have been around for 75 years, we are a small
company and it was our sincere desire to break through the clutter with
our advertising. Teleflora is proud to support our network of 20,000
local florists around the country. These are small businesses who make
up the backbone of our country.
May we send you a $15 gift certificate along with our sincerest apology?
Our hope is that you can see for yourself the Teleflora difference of a
hand-designed and hand-arranged bouquet, delivered by your local
$15 off per order valid through 2/10/09
Promo Code: SBOWL
Thank you for being in touch.

Though Teleflora claims it was innocently trying to create memorable ads, it’s not the first time that the company has used insensitive language in its promotions. Last Mother’s Day, the Wall Street Journal reported that Teleflora had to apologize after sponsoring an “America’s Favorite Mom” contest on NBC. Among the various categories in which moms could be nominated — including “military mom,” “single mom,” and “working mom,” — was the “non-mom mom,” which the now-closed website described as the “grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child,” according to This Woman’s Work. After complaints, Teleflora changed the name of the category to “Adoptive Moms” and issued a statement saying, “After closer examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children — moms who are indeed real moms to their children in every sense of the word.”

But apparently the company didn’t examine itself closely enough, judging from the fact that their Super Bowl ad is still posted on the front page of their website — sans apology — along with their “guy’s guide,” which aims to help men pick out Valentine’s Day flowers by matching the blooms to a woman’s personality. The only hard part is deciding whether your loved one is an “it girl,” “the girl next door,” a “girly girl,” an “uptown girl,” or the “free spirit” who “has her own ideas about the world.” (Yes, some women can think for themselves!)

The website also displays two of the other commercials in the “creepy degrading flowers” campaign, which are arguably even worse than the Super Bowl ad.

In this spot, a woman’s coworkers send her flowers to congratulate her on her new baby, but the talking flowers say, "hello baby, goodbye promotion."

And in this ad, a woman’s siblings send her flowers which insult her for being a philosophy major and make a crack about her inability to keep a boyfriend.

Related: Non-Mom Mishap at ‘America’s Favorite Mom’ Contest [Wall Street Journal]
So Awesome [This Woman’s Work]

Earlier:Personal Foul: Super Bowl Ads Delivery Old-Fashioned Sexism

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin