Friday, May 30, 2008

Pink Can Stink

I do not care (putting it lightly) for the mass marketing of the pink ribbon. I am all for breast cancer awareness and for raising money to find a cure. But I HATE when companies play it to make a profit. Pink ribbon everything.... going to have to brace myself in a few months for October's Pink Ribbon Hell. The reason is because most of these companies donate nothing or pennies for every profit dollar made off selling pink ribbon products.

For example, I was flipping through Heal magazine. Love the magazine! Great articles, a real asset for the cancer survivor. But I do chuckle a little when I see the ad for Arimidex because I didn't get my hot pink boxing gloves when I was given this prescription. And they seem pretty important in beating breast cancer.....

Anyway while looking at Heal magazine, I saw a particularly awful piece of pink crap being advertised. I mean really awful, tacky, hideous. I am so sorry if I offend anyone that actually likes these little collectibles. But here she is..... The Hope Shoe Collectible!

Price is $19.95 + $6.99 "shipping and service". Also, in the full-page ad, it states
"A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these limited-edition charity keepsakes will be donated to help in this important fight"

I thought that sounded suspiciously vague. So I emailed them and specifically asked what percentage of the proceeds are donated to charity and what specific charity or charities the funds are dedicated. The answer was as follows:"As per your email, 2% of each item sold goes to Breast Cancer Research."

OK, so out of the ~$27 dollars that a customers spends on this crap product, an entire forty cents is donated to "Breast Cancer Research." We can only hope that she meant the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Obviously, if you just donate the $27.00 directly to breast cancer foundation instead, we win and the profiteers lose. Please check out the think before you pink website to look up which pink ribbon campaigns are worthwhile. And a big fat Boo Hiss Award to all the companies trying to profit on the fear, pain and suffering that breast cancer causes.


Susan said...

I agree with you, Margerie! (I seem to say that pretty often.) I've always wondered why, if these companies are so committed to whatever cause they're supporting, they don't just make a direct donation instead of making us buy their knick-knacks or send in labels from their products.

I think some do have good intentions and donate a significant amount of money, but others are driven purely by profits.

Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire! said...

Think before you pink. I get obnoxious about it when people only give a certain amount of money to "research" and even more annoyed and obnoxious when they do it for "awareness". There is enough awareness, thank you very much.

Another point - yoplait donates 10 cents for each pink lid sent in. That is 10%. That is great! (Yogurt is only $1, ya know).
Amercian Express will donate 1% of your purchases. To whom? Don't know. But that is only $1 for $100.

Pay attention to the ones who really care about what they are doing, and aren't just putting the pink ribbon out there to make people buy it.

And a word to those companies who are doing it? Karma is a bitch. Be careful.

And Margerie, I didn't get my pink boxing gloves either. I think we should complain to you-know-who.

Karen Lynch said...

It's great that you inquired about the percentage and then shared it here with everyone. Good for you!

I'm not sure I agree with Hayley that's there's enough awareness ...

MamaGeek said...

VERY well stated Margerie! My Mom is also a breast cancer survivor and has the exact same sentiment!

Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire! said...

I had to clarify the "awareness" statement. When people say that they are selling something for breast cancer awareness, they are putting the ribbon on it and getting people to buy it. Nobody gets anything out of it, except the person who is selling the item.

There is a large company that has sold TONS of stuff for breast cancer awareness. I got several things from said company during my treatments. I was already quite aware of the problem (bald, fat, nauseous, wondering if I was going to die). My friends were aware of the problem. What did this money go to? It went to buying me something pink and fuzzy. And the money was pocketed at the end of the day, by the company that was selling something pink and fuzzy.

"Awareness" and "research" are really quite different.