Bloomingdale's Holiday Blunder

By Dana Zillgitt, Regular ContributorNovember 25, 2015


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When you think of the holidays, often times you think of family, friends, and loved ones. There’s a sense of home and comfort in the air, and there’s, most importantly, love. It’s a grounding feeling in the best way, and it’s how the holidays are meant to be, which is probably why, in most every holiday catalog, the advertisements show giddy people in love, covered in snow, and surrounded by people we’re meant to assume they care about. Maybe that’s why the new Bloomingdales ad campaign in their 2015 catalog bothered me so much, because the ad copy stated, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog while they’re not looking.”

I have too many other things to worry about during the holiday season, but now Bloomingdale’s suggests that I have to worry about my friends and loved ones spiking my eggnog, supposedly with either a date rape drug or alcohol I didn’t plan on drinking? Not okay.

Bloomingdales ran this ad in the Rebecca Minkoff section of their print 2015 Christmas catalog, and for several valid reasons, the social media platforms took up storm and rampaged against the company for “promoting date rape” and so many other things connected to violence and unsafe situations. Maybe I’m too close for comfort to the idea of date rape, but this message of making somebody unsafe in a place where they’re meant to be at ease and amongst friends is something I refuse to allow nor condone. Taking advantage of somebody’s life is never alright, but I feel like it’s at a whole other level when you do it to your supposed best friends. It’s like that old saying-friends don’t let friends spike each others drinks with GHB or any other form of substance masking their judgment. It’s just plain wrong, and I’m confused as to why such a large, nationally recognized company thought this was alright to run in what I would assume is one of their biggest money driving seasons of the year.

Normally, I would say either their ad agency was having a brain fart or the person in charge of green lighting the catalog before it went live wasn’t caffeinated enough, but there is no reason or little enough coffee to okay this ad.

For so many reasons, the idea of spiking a friend’s drink without their knowledge is dangerous, a health hazard, and the opposite of what the holiday season should be all about.

It’s something that should have never made it out of the brainstorming room and onto the pages of a real live catalog that thousands read every year.

The company recently released a half assed apology, saying “In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.” An error in judgment may be a vast understatement but this kind of mindset has got to change, and immediately. Because this is not the first campaign this year to promote some form of sexual violence or immense, unintended intoxication-Bud Light, as part as their #UpForWhatever campaign, put on some of their cans the copy “remove No from your vocabulary tonight.” These kinds of ideologies are detrimental to any form of holiday joy and cheer that this time of year is supposed to bring. And it’s a terrible trend that will only increase, I’m sure, if something isn’t done beyond meaningless apologies and judgment errors.

Let's chat!

Have you seen any holiday ads promoting negative behavior? How can we end this trend? Tell us below!

About Dana

SUSANNAH_HUTCHESON_writer_bio.jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander. 


Every girl is work in progress. If you need more help, click here.


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