After Teleflora’s highly offensive and degrading Super Bowl commercial, which implied that women would exchange sex with any man who could afford a few flowers, hundreds of folks took to Twitter to express their dismay and disgust, using hashtag #notbuyingit. One motivated Miss Representation supporter, Sherry, even sent this e-mail directed at the company:
To Teleflora: Too bad – your flowers are beautiful, but your Super Bowl ad was insulting and disrespectful to women. As the main purchaser of flowers in our household, I will be taking my business elsewhere. I suggest you see the film Miss Representation – a Sun Dance award winning documentary film that shows how the media devalues and misrepresents
women. Unfortunately, Teleflora is an offender. Perhaps next year you can present a more enlighted ad that positively represents Teleflora, your lovely flowers, and women- Sherry, Monteray CA.
Inspired by Sherry’s action, we decided to write Teleflora a letter of our own. If you’re as against the portrayal of women in Teleflora’s commercial as Sherry was, we encourage you to read our e-mail below and send your own message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct this email to your CEO, Mr. Butler.
Dear Mr. Butler:
As the campaign director for MissRepresentation.org and I’m writing on behalf of our tens of thousands of followers to let you know that we found your Super Bowl advertisement to be offensive and degrading to women. The advertisement blatantly objectifies a woman. It suggests that she can be bought and insinuates that her value lie solely in providing sexual gratification. It was by far one of the most sexist ads we saw during the recent game. And now it’s being shared through your website.
We would like to remind you that nearly 50% of Super Bowl viewers are women and 85% of the US purchasing power lies in the hands of women. We urge you to reconsider your marketing and advertisement strategies. To support these efforts we would like to have the opportunity to meet with you to brainstorm ways in which you can more creatively reach your customers. We believe Teleflora is capable of creating effective commercials without resorting to sexism. It just takes conscious effort.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
At the very least, make sure you’re Valentine’s Day is sexism free by boycotting Teleflora! Let’s challenge the limiting norms around this holiday by telling the media we’re #notbuyingit.
by Imran Siddiquee