800-FLOWERS PLANS $30M IN MARKETING

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Flower power.

800-Flowers, Westbury, New York, will almost triple its market budget next year, spending $30 million.

The marketer hopes to create consumer awareness for itself and help grow the $12.4 billion floral industry.

"Our industry has been without a lot of definition, leadership and a platform to market ourselves," said Jim McCann, president-CEO of 800-Flowers.

Florist Transworld Delivery Association is the biggest marketer of flowers for the industry, spending an estimated $40 million in 1993 on marketing.

800-Flowers believes FTD spends much less than that now because of the association's struggles. But FTD says marketing spending is about the same this year as last year.

FTD has faced issues such as declining florist membership and sales in the last five years.

Perry Capital Corp., New York, acquired the non-profit floral delivery cooperative in November. The new venture will break FTD into two units, a for-profit company and a separate association. Perry will focus on marketing and advertising for the floral industry, and hopes eventually to increase the marketing budget (AA, Sept. 26).

"Perhaps under the new ownership and new leadership, they [FTD] will become more focused and be able to develop resources to advertise more heavily," said Mr. McCann.

He said 800-Flowers will continue to be a member of FTD and the association's new focus will not change his strategy.

800-Flowers estimates sales will be $150 million this year, which would be up 81% from 1993.

800-Flowers is spending $20 million on an ad effort that broke in October, created by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York.

The humorous campaign is tagged "Better call 1-800-Flowers" and consists of cable TV, radio, print and outdoor.

The other $10 million will go for direct mail and sales promotion.

For several sales promotions, 800-Flowers teamed with big companies like United Airlines and AT&T. The floral retailer also develops wares with the help of Sports Illustrated and Wilson Sporting Goods Co.'s tennis products arm.

800-Flowers is also an active participant in the interactive world, with a unit totally dedicated to interactive services. The floral marketer is involved in a wide range of services, from online ordering to CD-ROM catalogs to interactive TV.

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