Poinsettia campaign switches to garden centres

The Stars for Europe EU-funded poinsettia campaign will target garden centre customers rather than high-end florists this year.

In July, HW reported how UK growers such as Woodlark had called for the change in focus, which campaign PR company Purple Spotted Media have now confirmed.

Poinsettia promotions had reached 3.8 million people between October and December 2015, says the PR company.

Originally founded by European poinsettia breeders Dümmen, Syngenta Seeds, and Selecta Klemm, the campaign began in 2000 with the aim to promote and ensure long-term European poinsettia sales with activities taking place in 16 European countries, some aided by EU funding.

Greg Hill, British Protected Ornamentals Association chairman, Woodlark Nurseries managing director Colin Edwards and Purple Spotted Media, have met to bang out ideas.

Themes provided by the German co-ordinators of the pan-European campaign must take place, which this year means the concept of ‘making memories’ as well as the plant’s Mexican heritage will run throughout, say the PR company, which added: "We’re not trying to sell a specific brand in the same way that a toothpaste or fizzy drinks company might. Instead, we’re strengthening the link between the coming of Christmas and the buying of poinsettias for the British general public."

The campaign’s UK activities include distributing press releases and running a campaign with Peter Seabrook in The Sun.

Seabrook said: "We have worked exclusively with schools in the past and the last three years had school choirs taking poinsettias to local residential homes as gifts after carol singing, as well as having scholars give small plants to parents at end of term nativity performances. We are still in negotiation about what we will do this year, schools will certainly be involved and I hope to broaden the activity to give a new twist to the story."

Garden centres in-store promotions and activities in different locations nationwide in November, including a competition for poinsettia retailers. Pentland Garden Centre near Edinburgh is one centre who is involved. It will be combining demonstrations and workshops.

PR Liz Anderson will again oversee consumer-facing aspects of the poinsettia campaign, including a London event for press and bloggers which will demonstrate new and unusual ways to use a standard supermarket or garden centre-bought poinsettia in the home.

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