A Brutal Valentine’s Day Lands FTD in the Red How karma is catching up with a leader in the floral industry.

FTD Companies, Inc. admitted Wednesday that its first-quarter outlook for 2018 is now about $20 million less than anticipated due to a dismal Valentine’s Day. The company is also discussing $50 million in credit support from Liberty Interactive Corp. – it’s largest shareholder – as executives now believe the new outlook for 2018 will not live up to obligations in its credit agreement.

Over the past year, FTD’s stock value has plummeted from a high point of 23.9 dollars per share down to 4.5 - and from the chatter of investors and florists alike, that trend won’t be stopping anytime soon.

So, what when wrong for FTD during Valentine’s Day? While a variety of different factors likely led to the lower-than-expected numbers, one of the most disappointing elements was with their social media marketing strategies.

“We took a different approach to media-based marketing in certain brands, and the results were substantially short of our expectations,” said CEO John Walden in Wednesday’s release.

FTD launched an aggressive marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day by combining brand marketing for two of its flagship labels – ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries - urging consumers to “think inside the box” by eschewing traditional florists and instead purchasing a box containing pre-packaged flowers and chocolate covered strawberries direct-shipped from the a warehouse to the customer.

Adding to this, they’ve made efforts on their social media platforms to hide images from customers that have had a bad experiences. ProFlowers has disabled the ability for their Facebook fans to post pictures of the sub-par experiences they’re having.

When looking over to Twitter, FTD themselves have massive strings of tweets apologizing for arrangements that never arrived, don't look anything like the images on the website, or the amount of time it takes to get a refund.

With FTD making a huge marketing push for ProFlowers with their “think inside the box” Valentine’s Day campaign, florists need to consider how much FTD is really standing behind them. To the naked eye they position themselves as a leader in the floral industry when the truth of it is, they seem to be more concerned with their own companies (ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries) than actually looking out for the future of florists.

As more and more florists come together and grow their businesses by offering specialized design classes and events, varying purchasing options in store, and monthly subscription services, the drop in wire orders have definitely been felt by FTD. If they won't listen to what florists actually want to help their business, maybe the thunderous sound of their stock crashing will.

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