Dear Bloomingdale’s: Please Show This at Your Next All-Staff Meeting

People have asked what the approval process is at Bloomingdale’s and if anyone lost their job over the now pulled offensive and and poorly apologized for offensive ad which ran earlier this week and was written about here.

rape ad

I don’t know how many departments were involved or how high up the approval process went.

But even without these answers, many of us are cut-the cards angry in a beyond just boycotting Bloomy’s kind of way.

We question the judgment of the entire ad team, leadership and company.

We wonder what the hell kind of corporate environment exists?

Can Bloomingdale’s do anything to win back some consumer trust?

I’m not sure. But I have some ideas. Two really.

  1. Cancel any holiday parties this year. I mean, who is going to feel safe sipping egg nog now when one or more has openly celebrated the secret spiking culture?
  2. Perhaps they could sit down at an all-day staff meeting and get schooled on effective ad campaigns from the Thames Valley Police’s Public?

Clearly, Bloomingdale’s is not aware of the importance of consent.

Luckily, the Thames Valley Police recently came out with a public service announcement (PSA) entitled, “Consent. It’s as Simple as Tea.”

If only someone had Bloomingdale’s had seen it before last week.

Please watch and share the video.

Here are a few “spoiler” insights about consent and tea.

The narrator explains the rules, protocol and ways to handle oneself with the tricky issue of understanding if someone wants “tea.”

In a modern Mr. Rogers with an accent way he says:

“You say ‘hey, would you like a cup of tea?’ And they go, ‘oh my god, I would love a cup of tea. Thank you.’

Then you know they want a cup of tea.

If you say, ‘Hey, would you like a cup of tea?’ and they’re like, “agh, you know I’m not really sure.’

Then you can make them a cup of tea, or not, but be aware that they might not drink it. And if they don’t drink it, then, and this is the important bit, don’t make them drink it.

… and if they say, ‘No thank you.’

Then don’t make them tea. At all. Just don’t make them tea.

Don’t make them drink tea. Don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea. O.k.?”

It is simple, clear and genius.

And because it’s such an important topic it’s not even annoying that it breaks the “show” don’t tell rule of good writing.

It tells. In narration.

And it shows. With cartoon images.tea

It’s a one-two punch of police captain kind of obvious.

It’s not just the feminists, activists and law enforcement who like the ad but Adweek too. They described it as “brilliant” in late October but I guess no one in the Bloomingdale’s saw the story.

It takes less than 3 minutes to watch.

And I have to say, it manages to be funny and light without minimizing the seriousness of consent.

And while this is clearly a PSA about consent as it relates to sex – it’s solid and good information on consent in general which is apparently a big issue.

After sharing my outrage about the Bloomingdale’s ad, I’ve been informed by many drink-spiking might be just a fun prank.

I’ve not met anyone personally to confirm this (I’ve been asking everyone) but since more than one or two people wrote to tell me this happens, between adults, at parties, I have to believe it’s true.

So, if that’s true, I’m also outraged by that.

One can’t spike another’s drink. What if they are alcoholic, allergic, on medication that makes it a bad idea?

It’s dangerous.

It’s also illegal.

Consent is important and the concept is made uber accessible and easy to understand thanks to the Thames Valley Police.


It’s safe and wise and kind and legal.


It’s not too much to ask, expect or assume.

Consent isn’t complicated or confusing.

So yes to consent.

Consent about tea, sex or egg nog is not optional.

P.S. Thanks to my friends who are both named Laura. Laura M. for sending me the link to the tea and consent PSA and Laura P. for sharing about the Bloomingdale’s ad.


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