Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do You Feel Exploited By The Pink Ribbon Campaign??

I read a recent article in the Boston Globe titled "Sick of Pink" and it got me to thinking.  I began to wonder how many survivors felt exploited by the pink ribbon campaign and dread the month of October as I have begun to do in recent years.  It is no secret for those that read this blog how I have questioned the motivation of some companies who slap the pink ribbon on their products. I do feel exploited as a survivor and think that some companies use the pink ribbon to increase their sales.  Let's face it...the pink ribbon is much prettier to look at than the reality of breast cancer.  Some of the products are so ridiculous it makes me laugh at times.  Ranging from the pink snuggie, smartwater, sharpie pens, and recently this year the pink swiffer it has gotten to be out of control.  

Some companies even make you go through hoops to get that minimal donation from purchasing their product to the bc organization they support.  I recently found out that when you buy a pink swiffer the company will donate a whopping 2 cents and that is only after the consumer sends in a coupon.  There's a nice loophole.  Spend 44 cents to donate 2 cents if you even remember to mail it in.  At that point the consumer should just donate directly to the organization of their choice and call it a day.  

And then there's Yoplait who for years included the hormone RBST in their yogurt which has been linked to breast cancer.  I am glad that Yoplait has cleaned up the cows they are getting the milk from and are now hormone free but why do you have to require the consumer to mail in the lids?  More leg work for the consumer and stamps to waste for a 10 cent donation.  

To close this rant I have saved  Jingle Jugs for last which are posted in the above images.   Jingle Jugs are plastic breasts mounted on wood that jiggle to music picked by the consumer and they even have  a slogan for breast cancer month..."Jingle Jugs For Life".   How much more tasteless and raunchy can you get?  A company that is exploiting women's breasts and then hoping to use that to cash in on the cause marketing frenzy.  As a survivor this is just offensive to me.  I am all for raising money for the cause but to me I would rather pick the organization and donate money directly to them.  

As a survivor do ever feel exploited by the pink ribbon campaign?  Do you question the motivation of some companies who slap the ribbon on their product?  Do you purchase pink products or would you rather donate money directly to the organization you choose?  If you are not a survivor how do you feel about cause marketing during breast cancer awareness month?


Sherry said...

I truly despise the "pinking" and the lengths some companies go to in order to promote sales. Women are an "easy" target much of the time and many of these companies play on sympathies and empathy which is despicable. But that unfortunately is marketing and sales in this day and age. Tasteless in so many ways.

I won't go so far as to say I feel exploited...that would mean me taking all of this personally and I don't.

But I understand what many of these companies are doing which means I am a savvy consumer and don't buy those products nor do I support the companies that make them. I may be only one person but I believe there are many who feel this way.

I much prefer to make my donation directly to a cancer support or research agency, one that is doing good work. All the fundraising I do is geared towards giving a product that will benefit all and not just breast cancer survivors. My "Super Hero" zine this year did that -- created as inspiration for everyone with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. It is up to us -- those who have walked the line to speak up and let others know -- do not fall prey to those who seek only to benefit themselves.

Great post Cathy.

KK said...

I think this is true of all causes. Anything that makes products sell, they'll slap on a label. A pink ribbon or green tree...its usually for the company, no the actual cause. I am a firm believer in sending my money to the source. It doesn't need to be filtered through a yogurt company where they can take their cut.