The following is a press release issued by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski's office:
Sacramento – Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski’s (D-Fremont) bill to combat consumer deception in the floral industry passed the state Assembly today with strong bipartisan support on a 60-11 vote.
The bill, AB 1581, requires floral retailers who use local phone numbers or local names to include their address and notice of their place of business in their advertisements.
Larger floral retailers often misrepresent their geographical location in their advertising to appeal to consumers who want to buy locally.
“If they have a choice, many people want to support their local small businesses by purchasing from their hometown stores,” Wieckowski said. “This bill makes sure that consumers will have access to the real geographic locations of floral shops and they won’t be fooled by a local phone number or local name. It would be included in the advertising.”
The bill is supported by the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, San Leandro and Simi Valley chambers of commerce. It is also backed by the California State Floral Association, the Society of American Florists, the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, and the California Small Business Association, among several other small business organizations and floral associations.
Twenty-eight other states have approved similar laws.
Studies from the Buy California marketing program show California consumers prefer to purchase from local retailers.
Unfortunately, consumers wanting to buy locally are misled when orders are routed to non-local business locations because fees and commissions are usually taken out of the order price. The larger retailer than reroutes the floral order to a truly local florist for processing. These fees can be avoided when the consumer places a floral order directly with a local florist.
Wieckowski’s bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Assemblymember Wieckowski represents the 20th Assembly District, which includes parts of Castro Valley, Hayward, Pleasanton and San Jose, and all of Union City, Newark, Fremont and Milpitas.
The bill was introduced by Wieckowski after he chose it from his “There Ought to be a Law” contest. Each year, he encourages constituents to submit bill ideas. AB 1581 was suggested by Fremont florist Dirk Lorenz, the owner of Fremont Flowers.