The European Union has spent nearly £2.5 million on advertising Dutch flowers. The money was given to the Dutch Flower Council, which already has the biggest flower industry in the world.
The Sun says the campaign was revealed after a Facebook campaign encouraged women to guess to their friends’ favourite flowers.
It has sparked fears that the advertising could hit Britain’s own flower industry, which is worth £2.2bn to the UK – more than the music industry. The EU-funded campaign has spent over £500,000 on advertising in the UK so far, but the EU maintains that it promotes flowers from across Europe, and that any mention of the Netherlands is banned.
One of the ads features semi-naked men, stating “It’s warm in the greenhouse and the men use their naked torsos to show off to the feminine public.”
A European Commission spokesman told the Sun that the advertising was part of a campaign to promote “high quality European farm products”, and added that Welsh lamb had also received £1.65 million.
He added that it could “help avoid environmental damage” by encouraging people to buy from Europe rather than rely on long-haul imports.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Business for Britain, said: “The EU needs to focus on reducing costs rather than expensive PR campaigns like this.”