In which we learn that only heterosexual persons buy one another chocolate
In a break from the usual sentimental drivel about "the one you love" deserving the most expensive item on the website (and this despite it having only very recently been Christmas, and therefore probably safe to assume that you very recently showered the individual in question with a variety of lovingly-chosen gifts for which he or she is still desperately trying to find space), Green and Black have a more novel approach.
This is what they say:
Valentine's Day is looming - is that bunch of 'whatever as long as they're red' really going to cut it? Possibly not. So why not drop your lover a subtle hint? Forward this email onto him immediately.
All he has to do is visit our online gifting service where he'll find a deliciously tempting range of Valentine ideas, beautifully presented and stylishly wrapped. Each gift contains a sumptuous selection of Green & Black's intense chocolate and delivers immensely more pleasure than anything you're ever likely to put in a vase.
Gifts are wonderful things. They're even better when they're gifts you actually want. So send him this email and make sure he gets it right.
The Green & Black's Team"
There are two issues here. The first is that Lady Bracknell was brought up in a world in which one did not know the financial cost of the gifts one received, and it would have been considered the height of bad manners to ask. Sending the Green & Black email to "him" is surely the modern-day equivalent of dragging "him" by the ear to the local chocolatier's, pointing at the confection one most desires, and saying, "Get me one of those, Humphrey. You can surprise me with it on Valentine's Day.".
Is this what now passes for romance? At exactly what point did it become acceptable to pour scorn on the gifts one's significant other chooses to the point where one decides he can no longer be permitted to actually do the choosing himself, and that one is entitled to "make sure he gets it right"? Are Green & Black sending their male customers an equivalent email in which the masculine pronouns are exchanged for feminine ones? Are both genders permitted to dictate their choice of gift? And, if one is dictating one's choice of gift, might it not be a great deal simpler all round if one just bought it for oneself? When did we, as a nation, become so deplorably acquisitive that the gift became more important than the intentions of the giver?
Secondly, unless Green & Black have been carrying out extensive surveillance into the Editor's private life, how can they be sure that she is straight? The answer, of course, is that they can not be sure: they are merely making an assumption. An assumption which, in light of the fact that 10% of their customers are very probably gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered, could cost them very dear. It simply beggars belief that any marketing team, in this day and age, should have so little awareness of the diversity of what Lady Bracknell believes is called their "customer base".
Have these people never heard of the pink pound? Or is their company so embarrassingly successful that they can afford to simply throw away 10% of their turnover? (Lady Bracknell has been watching Dragons' Den on the television: note how cleverly she avoided the trap of equating sales with profit. She feels rather proud of herself, and believes she may be possessed of previously-unsuspected financial acumen.)
Perhaps the marketing team are not entirely ignorant of diversity issues. Perhaps they considered the problem their email presents, and concluded that replacing "him" with the grammatically incorrect "them" in order to avoid a firm indicator of gender would be more likely to be offensive to their homophobic customers than the current implication that only straight people are entitled to Valentine's Day gifts is to their LGBT ones. Which, if true, would be rather more disturbing than it having never occurred to them in the first place that their heterosexuality bias might cause offence.
Lady Bracknell wishes to make it abundantly clear that she has no criticism of Green & Black's products: her criticisms are confined to their method of marketing them. Oh, and to their unforgivable use of the barbarous term, "online gifting service", of course.