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Is Celebrating Valentine’s Day about ‘I love you’ or ‘I have to’?

MasterCard Canada survey reveals almost three times more men than women believe they can’t show up empty-handed

TORONTO, February 8, 2010 – Canadians will show their love on February 14, but their motivations for doing so vary greatly, reveals the second annual MasterCard Canada Valentine’s Day Survey.

According to the survey, almost three times (19 per cent) as many men than women (7 per cent) say they feel they have to buy their sweetheart something to say “Be Mine” this Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, women use Valentine’s Day to reach out to a wider circle of friends and family with a growing list of gift recipients that goes beyond significant others to include parents (65 per cent), grandparents (13 per cent), siblings (54 per cent) and even friends (58 per cent) and colleagues (13 per cent).

“The reasons why people are buying gifts and who they are buying them for are changing,” says Julie Wilson, Director, Public Affairs, MasterCard Canada. “Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples anymore, Canadians are using the holiday to show those around them – friends, family and even colleagues – that they are priceless.”

Nothing says “I love you” more than chocolate or a… toilet seat?!
While most Canadians tend to give tried-and-true Valentine’s Day gifts, some get practical and some even get creative. Seven per cent of Canadians admit to receiving practical items such as furniture, tools and appliances – including toilet seats – but nearly one in five (19 per cent) say they’ve received toys, gag gifts, funny clothing or novelty items.

Individual survey results reveal some of the more creative gifts that Canadians have received, including: rubber chickens, dead / fake flowers and ‘romantic’ dinners at fast food restaurants – or the giftee being stuck with the bill!

It’s the thought that counts
The survey also shows that most Canadians (77 per cent) are planning to spend the same (66 per cent) or more (11 per cent) compared to last year. Over two thirds (67 per cent) of Canadians plan to spend less than $50 on Valentine’s Day this year.

“Canadians prefer to express their love through classic gifts, such as cards and chocolates,” says Wilson. “We know a little can mean a lot, because at the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts.”

Chocolate, cards and flowers – oh my!
Canadians are traditional when it comes to buying Valentine’s Day presents and plan on giving cards (36 per cent), romantic dinners (32 per cent) and candy / chocolate (30 per cent). Other popular gifts include:

  • A bouquet of flowers (19 per cent)
  • Wine or alcohol is a popular present this year (16 per cent)
  • Afraid you’ll buy the wrong thing? Let your Valentine choose their own gift by giving a gift card (13 per cent)
  • Knowing your Valentine’s taste in lingerie, perfume or jewelry will help you give the perfect gift (4 per cent each)

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Toronto-based Research House on behalf of MasterCard Canada from January 25-29, 2010. The online survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,013 Canadians ages 18+. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah McConnell
416-969-2717
smcconnell@environicspr.com

Olivia Yu
416-969-2718
oyu@environicspr.com