Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lowe's Apologizes for 'Family Trees' in Christmas Catalog

Not a good move by Lowes but they're smart to get ahead of it before it got out of control.

An early skirmish in this year's "War on Christmas" ended on Tuesday when the nationwide home improvement chain Lowe's apologized for referring to Christmas trees in its holiday catalog as "family trees."

"That was a complete error," Maureen Rich, a spokeswoman for Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse - which serves more than 13 million customers a week in its 1,400 stores across the nation - told Cybercast News Service. "Right now, we're extremely disappointed in this breakdown in our own creative process.

"We are apologizing to customers today for any confusion our holiday catalog created," Rich said. She explained that the full-color document is called a holiday catalog "because it encompasses all the holidays from October through January."

Rich's comments came in response to an "Action Alert" sent out earlier in the day by the Mississippi-based American Family Association. The e-mail stated: "In an effort to avoid the use of the term 'Christmas tree,' Lowe's [is] now calling them 'family trees.'"


In addition, the AFA Web site encouraged readers to send an email to Lowe's and "ask them why they refer to their Christmas trees as 'family trees.'"

The catalog's use of the term "family trees" was "a plain old error," Rich told Cybercast News Service.

Those particular pages dealt with Christmas trees, she said, and the creative group responsible for laying out the catalog put "family trees" at the top to mirror the other "family oriented" headlines on each page, she said.


Nevertheless, later on Tuesday, a new message went up on the AFA Web site stating that "Lowe's has contacted the AFA and assures us that it is proudly committed to selling Christmas trees this year, as it has done" in the past.
Here's the ad:

This kind of stuff really doesn't bother me, I could care less what they call it, if it looks like a Christmas tree and I want it, I'll buy it. I also don't care what the salesperson says to me as long as they get my change right :-) I know why it bothers people, they're making money off our holiday at least they can call it by it's right name. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm just happy that Jesus' birthday is so universally celebrated that I can get the stuff I need to celebrate it. I don't begrudge them their coin and I certainly don't want to force anyone to say something that they don't really mean.

BTW, follow the link to read a survey of the recent Christmas wars.