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Special Advertising Situations Assignment: Chapter 18 October 25, 2008

Posted by Alicia Revely in admin, Special Advertising Situations.
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As you’ve seen throughout the term, advertising doesn’t always work as planned. Back in May, florist Teleflora’s Mother’s Day Mother of the Year award. They faced backlash from adoption blogs for initially describing stepmothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, and other caregivers under the heading “non-mom” and for using disrespectful language like “own children” for biological children and “meth babies” and for totally disregarding the biological mothers of fostered and adopted children. Despite only minimal media coverage, Teleflora responded to some of these concerns by changing the category title from “non-mom” to “adopting mom” even though that doesn’t effectively describe the category and by issuing a statement:

Teleflora is immediately changing the name of our “Non-Mom” category to “Adopting Moms”. 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. In fact, many of us at Teleflora are .adopting. parents ourselves, including our president and owner. The essence of this category still focuses on a grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster children, each one raising and loving a child.

This show of insensitivity on our part was in no way intended and we deeply apologize for any concern or distress we may have caused. It was always our intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

As your assignment, pretend <em>you</em> were the director of this ad campaign. What would your response have been when concerns about the message was raised? Would you react as soon as you realize bloggers are discussing the issue or not until it gets wider play? How would you win back customers who’d been offended by your initial campaign? What have you learned in this class that could have helped you prevent such problems in the first place?

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