Purveyors of Pink-Ribbon Products Asked to Detail Their Charity

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins, Breast Cancer Action (BCA), a grassroots organization of breast cancer survivors and their supporters, has launched the fourth phase of its Think Before You Pink campaign. The campaign encourages consumers to look deeper into breast cancer product tie-ins.

“Pink ribbon marketing efforts make a significant difference in corporate bottom lines,” says BCA executive director Barbara Brenner, “but the ‘portion of the proceeds’ that goes to breast cancer is all too often miniscule in comparison.”

For example, the 3M Corporation put forth a $500,000 breast cancer-related marketing campaign last year—involving a 70-foot-tall pink ribbon made of 75,000 Post-It Notes in Time Square—which led to increased sales 80 percent over 3M’s expectations, according to PR Week. But their contribution to the breast cancer cause was only $300,000.

BCA suggests that consumers email companies selling pink-ribbon products, asking them to detail how much money goes to the cause, which programs are supported, and how funds are raised. BCA’s “Parade of Pink” lists over 50 companies offering “pink” products in the last year, ranging from Pink Ribbon Tic Tacs to Tweezerman Breast Cancer Awareness tweezers to a pink-colored George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grill.

JOIN Ms. magazine today and get the Fall 2005 issue, which includes articles on breast cancer, the environment, and our chance for a cure in ten years by Dr. Susan Love and Dr. Sandra Steingraber


Breast Cancer Action 9/27/05; PR Week 6/13/05

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