The Pennsylvania Floral Industry Association (PFIA) hailed the vote taken by the Pennsylvania State Senate to unanimously pass Senate Bill 198, a bill that requires truth in advertising for the retail florists in the Commonwealth.
PFIA, representing retail florists and related businesses in Pennsylvania, has long sought a restriction on out-of-state florists that disguise their origin when advertising in local telephone directories. According to the association, current law enables a non-Pennsylvania business to place a listing in the telephone book using a local exchange and a fictitious name meant to sound like a local florist. “This practice effectively prevents the consumer from knowing where they purchase flowers,” said PFIA president Ed Auman, a Selinsgrove florist. “The customer needs to know from whom they are buying.”
Auman stressed the pro-competition nature of Senate Bill 198: “People should have a range of choices, but those choices must be made with complete knowledge,” he said. “SB 198 does not restrict an out-of-state firm from doing business in Pennsylvania but requires that it list a true location so that consumers know its true location. The bill also imposes penalties if businesses hide their location. A person can buy from whomever they choose.”
PFIA also commended the bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) for his advocacy and Senate Majority Leader Chip Brightbill for his leadership in pushing for the bill’s passage. “This unfair trade practice is corrected by Senate Bill 198, and Pennsylvania’s consumers have these two gentlemen to thank for it,” said PFIA executive director Denise Calabrese.
The bill now goes to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for concurrence.