IQ News: PC Flowers to Celebrate Birthday with Online Promo

PC Flowers & Gifts, one of the first companies to focus on electronic commerce, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a $5 million sweepstakes and a series of monthly online promotions, starting with a Valentine’s Day “his and her” Ford car giveaway.
The Stamford, Conn.-based company, which launched in 1989 on Prodigy, hopes the promotion will increase traffic to its Web site,, and the co-branded flower and gift services of its 1,200 marketing partners, which include CBS, NBC, Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Travelocity and Reader’s Digest.
“The key to a successful e-commerce company is a scalable back-end ordering process, credit card process and customer support [system],” said William Tobin, CEO of PC Flowers & Gifts.
Banners will run on search engines and the ShopperConnection portal of e-commerce sites. Tobin said each advertiser with PC Flowers shares in revenues from every sale. He declined to say how much the company would spend to promote the campaign, but described it as a “pretty huge advertising budget.”
In addition to the Ford car giveaway, the site is offering a daily instant win prize of roses, a vase and chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day from Feb. 1 to Feb. 11.
Through, its partner in the ShopperConnection site, PC Flowers is selling “video bouquets,” which package the movie When Harry Met Sally with a dozen long-stemmed red roses. The deal will be promoted on each of their sites, their affiliates’ sites and through e-mail.
After February, the monthly sweepstakes will focus on Secretaries’ Day, Mother’s Day, graduation, and Father’s Day, followed by summer, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas promotions. The sweepstakes’ $5 million grand prize will be awarded in March 2000.