Wall Street Journal published “How to Tell if a Pink-Ribbon Product Really Helps Breast-Cancer Efforts” by Tara Parker-Pope on October 10, 2006 addressing the commercialization of breast cancer and how consumers can determine how much of the sales go to breast cancer research or causes.
Consumers are warned to make sure the product supports a legitimate cause because “anybody can use the pink-ribbon” logo. Fine print usually discloses the actual percentage going to the cause. Be wary of merchants who only states that a portion of proceeds go to support research without actually disclosing how much is spent.
The article cites some purchases that donates a generous amount – examples included Karey Kyle Rose Quartz earrings (67% of purchase price goes to BreastCancer.org) and a Van Cleef & Arpels pendant (51% of the $1950 price goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation).
In the past I’ve purchased a lot of Yoplait products with pink lids, which stated that proceeds would go to support the Susan Komen Foundation if I mailed in the lids. Washing, drying, and flattening each lid – if I didn’t rip it to shreds when opening the yogurt – was so much of a hassle that I didn’t bother. I don’t know how many people would bother with the same. Right now Yoplait is running commercial campaigns about its support of breast cancer, but I’m not rushing out to buy any yogurt this time. I’d rather donate money directly to the cause I believe in.
2006-10-10 @ 8:10:01 pm by Julia Schopick
For an interesting twist on the topic of the “pinking” of breast cancer awareness, there are two articles I link to from my website, that I think you might like to read.
To access these two articles, please go to the links on the left side of my site, and look under “articles of importance.”
1)”Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch,” by Barbara Ehrenreich. A classic.
2)”Chemo Concession” (contains some surprising information about the chemotherapy industry)
Both articles will give you another perspective on the “think pink” phenomenon. I hope you will find them informative. Thanks very much for giving them a look!
2006-11-4 @ 4:11:21 pm by Jane Chin
Thanks, Julia. I’m listening to our local John and Ken show right now and they are interviewing Barbara Brenner of “Think Before You Pink” and BC Action organization.
I was especially interested in the Yoplait “pink lids” campaign and how much money you would actually “help raise” if you ate 3 cans of yogurt each day for 4 months (less than $50)! Wouldn’t it make more sense to directly send a check to the breast cancer organization of your choice? At least that made more sense to me.