The news has been filled with how Starbucks went with just a red cup. No Santa Claus, or snowmen or reindeer. Just a red cup with its green logo. A total affront to Christmas, some have said.

Bloomingdale's has eggnog on its face - Website Design and Video Production in OregonAnd that red cup has caused quite a bit of talk. And more talk. About a simple red cup with a green logo and how it’s not Christmas enough.

So much so, that you probably didn’t hear much about the company that people really should be in an uproar about and boycotting.


If you don’t know why this company is in the news, then it’s time for Oregon Marketing Group’s first edition of OMG!

As in Oh My Goodness, that didn’t just happen.

As someone who has worked in advertising and public relations for many years and gives a considerable amount of consideration before launching an advertising or public relations campaign, I am always a bit surprised when I see advertising or public relations campaigns that fall flat. That attracts negative feedback or does something that insults its clients.

So here’s why Bloomingdale’s should be horribly ashamed for what it did.

In a holiday catalog ad, there is a picture of a woman who is looking away from the creepy man who is glaring at her. The headline reads, “Spike Your Best Friend’s Eggnog When They’re Not Looking.”

Are you kidding me? OMG!

Someone actually thought this was clever, cute or sexy?

I always thought Bloomingdale’s was a classy place. Not anymore.

Here’s a suggestion for your next ad, Bloomingdale’s. A picture of the people who put together this ad with the headline that reads, “Clueless.”

“Spike Your Best Friend’s Eggnog When They’re Not Looking.”

This is basically saying date rape is OK and hey guys, the only way to get a girl is spike her drink. This ad angers me more than I can say because it sends the wrong message.

Here’s a little background research for you ad executives at Bloomingdale’s. It comes from a reliable website –

When describing date rape drugs, it reads, “These drugs are powerful and dangerous. They can be slipped into your drink when you are not looking. The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can’t tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you become weak and confused — or even pass out — so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself.”

“Spike Your Best Friend’s Eggnog When They’re Not Looking.”

This is how date or stranger rape happens. A stranger buys someone a drink or a date slips a date rape drug in a glass when the person isn’t looking.

Again, from reads:

How can I protect myself from being a victim?

  • Don’t accept drinks from other people.
  • Open containers yourself.
  • Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
  • Don’t share drinks.
  • Don’t drink from punch bowls or other common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
  • If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
  • Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
  • Have a nondrinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
  • If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out.
  • If you feel drunk and haven’t drunk any alcohol — or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual — get help right away.

And while date rape drugs are used on both males and females, the side effects are similar. Both drugs cause serious problems.

Again from the website. “These drugs are very powerful. They can affect you very quickly and without your knowing. The length of time that the effects last varies. It depends on how much of the drug is taken and if the drug is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Alcohol makes the drugs even stronger and can cause serious health problems — even death.”

Great – Bloomingdale’s ad about putting something in an alcoholic drink isn’t just promoting rape but also murder. Maybe the people who wrote this ad should write for the television show, “How to get away with murder.”

Bloomingdale’s if you really are the luxury department store, show some class. Apologize. Yes, I know you issued this statement, “In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our current catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.”

No, that’s not an error in judgment. An error in judgment is when you try to navigate a tight corner and hit the curb. This is plain wrong. I hope whoever wrote this ad talks to a women’s crisis counselor or a police officer who has counseled woman after being a victim of rape. Words have tremendous power. Learn what message you sent with this ad.

And for the record, I am not the only one complaining about this ad. It has received a great deal of criticism.

Here’s where I really saw OMG. Trying to excuse this behavior, it was said there is just a lot of pressure to come up with ads that are clever and stand out.

Really? There are no excuses. None. This ad should have never have left the conference room where someone first pitched it.

If this is what someone came up with, it’s time to find a new profession.

And Bloomingdale’s, you might want to send Starbucks a thank you card for hogging the limelight this week and saving you from being in it even more than you are. Here’s hoping this blog spikes some conversation.


Thank You - Website Design and Video Production in Oregon

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