Breast cancer sells. The idea sounds barbaric to some, but it works for others. Susan G Komen For the Cure has created that market through hard work, campaigning to raise awareness, and with it, funds toward a cure. Breast Cancer Action not only educates, but is the self appointed watchdog for breast cancer advocacy. Breast Cancer Action works to keep the public aware of the underside of some businesses’ pink campaigns.
Facebook bra color goes viral
An example of the popularity of going pink is Facebook’s viral bra color postings. In January of 2010, short and snappy Facebook updates confused many (Susan Donaldson James). “Always nude” and “I like black” made men say “huh?” and women plot in exchanged emails. Before long, posting your bra color on Facebook became the latest and greatest trend on social networking sites. It was originally meant as a breast cancer awareness tactic. Most people posting had little more intent than joining the fun of confusing the men in their lives and in their friends’ lists. To some, the posting of underwear colors was exploitive and inappropriate, an example of suggestive tactics serving no purpose. Just the same, the Susan G Komen fan page made a huge jump in numbers as people became aware of just why women posted their bra colors.
The Susan G Komen Race For the Cure celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2008. In 2009, 2,200 people walked in Georgia alone, raising 5.6 million dollars for breast cancer research. Since 2003, more than 400 million has been raised through donations and sponsorships. (Mike Paluska)
Susan G Komen Foundation encounters pink washing
Clearly, the cause is a popular one, but sometimes going pink doesn’t come without opposition. The media’s focus on breast cancer has convinced businesses that promotions featuring pink ribbons will drive sales. When KFC began its pink bucket campaign, Breast Cancer Action accused KFC of “pink washing”, or using the initiative to boost business. Susan G Komen For the Cure itself was condemned for helping promote unhealthy food choices for women. (Bruce Watson)
In 2002, Breast Cancer Action began its “Think Before You Pink” campaign. Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Pinky Vodka are just two brands that have jumped on the bandwagon created by Susan G Komen, despite the link between increased risk of breast cancer and alcohol consumption. (Think Before You Pink)
Even yogurts came under fire when Breast Cancer Action condemned their use of rBGH hormone in their product. rBGH is a bovine growth hormone thought to be a carcinogen. When Yoplait began its promotion, promising to give ten cents for every one of its pink lids sent in by mail, Breast Cancer Action pointed out the discrepancy (not to mention the fact that a stamp costs consumers 41cents). (Richard Leiter)
Susan G Komen and Breast Cancer Action have the same goals – to end breast cancer. Susan G Komen works in part through promotions, fostering awareness for breast cancer that hardly exists for other types such as brain and bone cancer. Some might say that any gift towards an end to any cancer is worthy. Breast Cancer Action, though honoring Susan G Komen For the Cure for its efforts, believes the ends do not justify the means, and products detrimental to women should receive no support, promotion or not promotion.
Breast Cancer Awareness held its first meeting in 1990. Susan G Komen For the Cure began in 1982.
Bruce Watson Daily Finance KFC’s Pink Bucket Breast Cancer Campaign: Critics Have it WrongRichard Leiter. Breast Cancer Action. breast cancer action and Yoplait Breast Cancer Action Targets Yoplait In “Think Before You Pink” Campaign; Calls For Yogurt Without Artificial Hormones
Susan Donaldson James. ABC News. Bra Color Status on Facebook Goes Viral.
Mike Paluska. CBS Atlanta. Breast Cancer Walk Raises 5.6 Million
Think Before You Pink.org