Anaheim CA Flowers  Blog by Avante Gardens Florist
17 February 2012

Valentine’s Day Flowers Adwords: Feasting on the Bones of Local Florists

Valentine’s Day Flowers Adwords: Feasting on the Bones of Local Florists

Vultures. It’s the only way I can think to describe Google’s Adwords ads this past Valentine’s Day holiday.

‘Don’t be evil’ flew out the window and Google opened it even wider for the birds of prey to strip consumers and local flower shops of their hard-earned dollars.

First, we had ProFlowers telling shoppers seeking local florists BY NAME in Google searches that the stores were sold out of flowers. It’s a completely despicable ad tactic that diverted consumers by lying about local flower shop inventories. Despite having plenty of beautiful blooms for Valentine’s Day, the drop-shipper tried to suck in late buyers by falsifying the flower availability at these shops. Shame on Liberty Media. Shame on ProFlowers. And shame on the Google staffers who approved those ads.

Vulture adwords ad 


Lots of local florists took note of the ad scams and thankfully, a few others blogged about it.

Next, we had buyers looking for local neighborhood flower shops using Google’s Maps. ‘Search nearby’ produced Map balloons that included not only our own company data, but contained ads for ‘national florists’.

I spent just shy of 23 minutes with a single customer trying to convince her she wasn’t looking at our website. She’d mapped her friend’s location and then found our Anaheim flower shop nearby. She had unsuspectingly clicked the ‘ad’ link in the bubble, not realizing she’d been taken to a ‘national’ (relay company) advertiser site rather than out locally-focused selection of products.

The way I finally convinced her she was looking at an order gatherer site was to tell her our Saturday deliveries cost the same as weekdays. ( The ‘national’ site charged a premium price for weekend delivery) ... so she finally conceded she’d been duped.

Loads of local florists are going through this time-consuming exercise daily.

Google has long been a company I’ve respected, but this holiday they put ad dollars way, way ahead of truthful advertising and consumer/user interest.

Google:  Don’t tell your users drop-shippers are ‘located nearby’ and don’t let advertisers misrepresent the inventories of real local florists.

Both are evil and are far more vulture-like than the Google brand I’ve respected for many years. Lose the trust of local businesses... and buyers...and you lose a whole lot.   

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# lee gallison said:

do you know how I might share this on to google's FB page? copy & paste might be enough...

18 February 12 at 1:31 AM
# lee gallison said:

posted on their (google) feed... at least you know someone will read it. have a fun day!!!

as ever,

lee gallison

18 February 12 at 1:34 AM
# Eric Shaw said:

Loads of local florists are going through this time-consuming exercise daily.   You’re not kidding when you say this.  Since November when Google started allowing adwords ads to appear within the business bubble all of our staff have been spending more time with consumers trying to order products from other websites.  Or even worse when consumers are thinking that they are ordering from another shop and we have to explain to them that they are calling the wrong number.  Its getting worse and all we can do is hope that Google stops these ads from appearing or at least give us the option to target our own ads within the business bubble.  

18 February 12 at 6:49 AM
# Donna said:

We routinely report ads from different order gatherers using our name in their adwords campaigns. We haven't had much luck or help from google. We too have had numerous complaints about orders that customers believed they had placed with us.

18 February 12 at 9:09 AM
# Central Square Florist Blog » Google Misleading Ads In Local Florist Listings. said:

PingBack from

18 February 12 at 11:43 AM
# Flori said:

Google should not be a police man. Tactics like that should attract penalties or laws should be made for this kind of actions.

22 February 12 at 9:44 AM
# Valentine's Day AdWords "War" Among Florists Highlights Another Google Challenge said:

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23 February 12 at 2:39 PM
# Valentine's Day AdWords "War" Among Florists Highlights Another Google Challenge said:

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23 February 12 at 8:09 PM
# Phillip Murphy said:

we notice the same thing all the time as well - we nip it in the bud - do not let it be a problem - for these folks on the phone - calling me - since the OG sites often have no phone - telling of something we have never heard about....  - they get stoped them dead in their tracks - interrupted,  - and we invite them to visit our site -- we simply advise them there are many fake florists, service bureaus, people with no actual flowershop, masquerading on the www as 'florists',  vying for their very last flower dollar and they did good, in calling me, as luck and good fortune would have it,  an actual florist here in minneapolis... - this moves the call on, in seconds -

25 February 12 at 9:40 AM
# Garry G said:

The whole Google ad words scheme is a scam anyway and should be illegal. It amounts to payola which is illegal in the radio business and game shows. Then again, with corporations being now recognized as people, I guess the most money wins. Welcome to America, land of the unscrupulous and dishonest where working hard and being honest gets you absolutely nowhere.

25 February 12 at 12:00 PM
# Jeff said:

Has anybody checked into contacting the FTC about this being deceptive advertising?  This seems like just the type of thing they should be looking into.

28 February 12 at 6:44 AM
# Auth said:

Thank you for posting these faboocek pages of the wire services. As a florist for the past  39 years, I am embarrassed to be a member of Teleflora and will be canceling my membership. I have felt for the past few years that the wire services are a detriment to the integrity of the flower business by their promises to deliver the world  .same day delivery  no second choices and all for 29.99.Their frenzy to capture as many orders as possible without letting the customers know the limitations of the florists is the epitomy of greed. They undersell the product, over promise the expectations of the customer, and set the florist up for failure. It is time for florists to develop their own websites and educate the public to use a search engine to find  flowers delivered in     and urge them to talk directly to the local florist in the town where they want the flowers delivered. Wire services are no longer needed in the age of free long distance and the internet.

18 July 12 at 1:07 PM

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