Mrs. Fields Scrambles to Add Christmas to Online Site

Type in “Christmas” into the Mrs. Fields website search box and you get a page that states: “Sorry, no records were found with the search parameters you provided. Please try a new search now.” (See UPDATE)

This Week’s Top Scrooge – October 12, 2007

By ALEXANDER
TheScroogeReport.com

Pity, apparently some of us are shopping Christmas gift ideas now and thought cookies, maybe even Mrs. Fields cookies, would make a good gift…especially if they were Christmas-themed.

At least that was the case laid out recently by the American Family Association (AFA) in an Action Alert email headlined “Mrs. Fields bans Christmas from their products.” The alert stated that “Diane H. of Michigan called Mrs. Fields and asked to speak with a supervisor in customer service about why they banned Christmas, the supervisor told Diane that they do not offer anything with Merry Christmas because they don’t want to offend anyone.”

AFA has been monitoring these sort of Christmas shortcomings by retail companies for three years. The first one on its radar this year? You guessed it…Mrs. Fields.

According to Randy Sharp of the AFA, their email alert sent to their subscribers yesterday prompted 73,000 emails to Mrs. Fields in less than a day…and has Mrs. Fields scrambling to do damage control.

In response to the email campaign, Mrs. Fields put up a “Dear Valued Customers” letter Friday morning. In it the company states “Please rest assured that we are in the business of celebrations and smiles, and Christmas will arrive at Mrs. Fields this year, along with all the other holidays we hope to make warmer and more delicious.”

Mrs. Fields Apology Page
Mrs. Fields temporary home page to assure that Christmas is in the plans.

Sorry, Mrs. Fields, but you are This Week’s Top Scrooge. Nevermind, that you’ve attempted to “assure” us that you’ve been diligently “busy at work for many months on a line of Christmas products.”

AFA was told by Mrs. Fields that they had hired a third party to do its customer service. Other than a website homepage letter, no other announcement has been made. However, Sharp said Mrs. Fields will make a statement that denounces the customer service remark and that the Christmas exclusion is not part of the company’s policy.

An email to the company president was not returned before publication of this story.

Sharp says regardless of whether Mrs. Fields had plans for a Christmas product line or not, the usage of an outside customer service company is not an excuse for distancing itself from the issue of Christmas.

Company policy should be reflected in third parties, he said.

“Over the last few years retail companies have become callous and have used outside sources for their customer service,” said Sharp, AFA’s director of special projects. “This is coming back to haunt them.”

I agree with Sharp and the AFA. The damage has already basically been done. Even the appearance of excluding “Christmas” from your retail line hurts. Many people are burnt out on political correctness gone a muck.

Mrs. Fields’ Christmas “concern” and product line is only half-baked.

UPDATE:  By late Friday afternoon, searching for “Christmas” on the Mrs. Fields website produced three gift items that will be ready for shipping November 1st. They include the Twelve Days of Christmas Bundle, Christmas Tree Cookie Cake, and Holly Berry Christmas Cookie Cake.

UPDATE: Oct. 13, 2007 – To see a letter Mrs. Fields sent to its franchises regarding this story go to comment No. 6 of this post.

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12 thoughts on “Mrs. Fields Scrambles to Add Christmas to Online Site

  1. Pingback: www.christmasforallofus.info » Mrs. Fields Scrambles to Add Christmas to Online Site

  2. For being great Christians these bloggers sure have some very un-christian remarks. Those who are loyal customers of Mrs. Fields from the past know that they do feature items with the greeting “Merry Christmas”. If the other holiday items are their best sellers, then put your money where your mouth is and buy the ones featuring “Merry Christmas”. Businesses have to make their money and so they have to keep selling what sells. Also, please be respectful of those who do not celebrate Christmas, that is a part of the Christian belief, is it not? I definitely wonder why this AFA is insisting we buy their buttons. Seems a bit odd to me that they are using this to make money off of something that probably cost 3 cents to make.

  3. Did you guys even consider that the reason you don’t see “Christmas” gifts on the current website is that the christmas catalog is not even out yet and they are NOT currently selling holiday items. The “holiday” preview is not the entire christmas catalog, but a preview of about 9 items that are going to be in the catalog when it is released in november. Don’t believe me, take a look at how many “Halloween” items they sell. Do you honestly think that they would have pages and pages for Halloween and only 9 items for the largest holiday of the year……use your heads
    As for the comment from the customer service rep…..Mrs. Fields does in fact use an outside order taking\Customer service call center. It seems to me that the over zealous christian fanatics jumped the gun on this one and owe Mrs. Fields a HUGE “woops, were sorry”

  4. I work for a franchisee of Mrs. Fields’ Famous Brands (the parent company of Mrs. Field’s Cookies.) Our franchisee operates Great American Cookies stores, (Mrs. Field’s operates 3 brands-Mrs. Fields, Great American, and Original Cookie Co.) I have worked for the company for over 17 years, and we have featured the word “Christmas” prominently year after year in our in store marketing materials, cookie cakes shown in the our showcases, on the websites, as well as Christmas designs for our cakes in the brochures which we pass out to customers inquiring about our products. The following letter was sent out to all franchisees regarding this incident:
    This week, a woman from Michigan called the Mrs. Fields customer service line to inquire about Christmas gifts from Mrs. Fields Cookies. She was incorrectly told that Mrs. Fields will not be selling or promoting Christmas specific items this year, and instead would be focusing on Holiday items as to not offend anyone. Once hearing this, she quickly spread this false information. This miscommunication by the employee has been addressed, and we’ve been assured by the head of the customer service center that this error in communication will not occur again.

    As we have for the last 30 years, Mrs. Fields strives to provide only the best indulgent treats and gifts for all of our customers’ needs. We will continue to do this during the upcoming holiday season by offering a wide variety of holiday items including Christmas specific gifts and treats.

    Additionally, we are taking some internal steps to insure that the 2007 Holiday selling season is one of our best!

    · We are creating a standard outgoing email for all customers who inquired about the Mrs. Fields Christmas gifts alerting them to the initial miscommunication and getting them excited for the November 1st launch of our holiday season.

    · We have posted a note on Mrsfields.com previewing the 2007 Holiday product line including Christmas items

    · We have sent a note onto the original organization who spread the information with our apologies of the miscommunication and they are helping us to broadcast that it was a miscommunication.

    As you know, Mrs. Fields is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and is looking forward to a successful holiday season. Again, based on our original marketing plan, we will formally introduce the 2007 holiday selling season both in-store and online in early November 2007.

    As usual, everyone needs to take big step back and not get so bent out of shape. The biggest problem in America is not that retailers don’t keep Christ in Christmas—it’s that Christians don’t keep Christ at the forefront of their actions.

  5. As a point of clarification–the last paragraph in my comments above, are my own observation, and not that of Mrs. Fields’, or any of its’ franchisees.

  6. Please do not send any advertisements or offers to my e-mail address. You may send a response. but please no offers. I was very upset about the comment that they weren’t going to use “Christmas” on any of their products as not to offend any other religion. I’m tired of having to conform to the “WORLD’s” views and opinions. I know this has been resolved for now, I just wanted to comment. They (all businesses)can just try to please us all. Make some products for other religions as well if you have to, but, don’t omit Christmas. Especially when Christians make up such a large portion of the United States. I’m not a radical but I feel very strongly about this politically correct bull!

  7. Oh, I forgot, Thank you to the Mrs. fields company and sister companies for the clarification. I hope you have a successful Holiday Season. God Bless!

  8. I thought it was interesting that Sven felt it necessary to remind all Christians of their shortcomings. If He is a Christian, then he is pointing a finger to himself. If not, then He is not in a position of judging the spiritual matters of Christians. (1 Corinthians 2:14 – Holy Bible)
    I think the problem here is that two seperate issues are being combined into one. The first are the words of the customer rep. The other is the advertising of the website.
    Even if the customer service rep. had an axe to grind, or simply was “misinformed” has nothing to do with what takes place online. This is the responsibility of another employee who maintains and updates the products for sale(webmaster)
    For Christians like myself, Christmas is a time to reflect on Gods blessings for the year, and the mercy he gave in sending his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
    This is what our nation was founded on nearly 200 years ago, and has been a “hot button” issue for people who have migrated to this country with other faiths. The Mrs. Fields
    incident is only symptomatic of this issue.
    I don’t know what was going on in the Mrs. Fields Board room in recent past, but it feels like a case of “testing the waters.” The problem was not brought up until a customer complained, not by the company itself.
    This should send a warning to all companies that, even if they allow other religions to use their “muscle” to influence business practices, the voice of Christians will be heard. We are many and don’t have to buy your product!

    John 3:16

  9. There’s a campaign starting to save Christmas by giving away a Christmas novel “Miss Humbug” at http://www.MissHumbug.com. The author is giving it away as an ebook and those who spread the Christmas cheer by telling others can also receive it as an audio.

    The book is about one woman’s quest to understand and implement the time-tested values that Christmas symbolizes – generosity, love, human-kindness, and peace. Here’s what the author said, “The way I see it, we have two choices. We can throw away the symbol because it has become corrupt or we can restore it to its former greatness. Some say we should eliminate Christmas because a few might be offended. Others say to abolish it because it has become corrupt. But what if we could restore it? Would any find offense at the original icon? I’ve never met anyone who’s offended by peace, love, unity, and generosity. I’m sure there are some people out there who live in diametric opposition to these principles. But do we want to cater to them as a society? Do we want to foster the antithesis of these principles? I think not.

    Along with the heroine of the story, I hope readers will come away understanding that it’s the small and simple things that bring great things to pass. It’s not the gizmos and gifts or tinsel and trees that make Christmas so influential. It’s those Christ-like values that illuminate a darkening world. We need them now more than ever!”

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