The month of October fills the marketplace with pink-ribboned products and breast-cancer-awareness-themed events and fundraisers. Many people ask, “Where does the money go?” No one seems to know, including me. There are simply too many companies, organizations, and promotions to track, and very few of them are transparent enough to evaluate. In the midst of it all, cause marketing is cast as everything from the saving grace, the necessarily evil, to the pinkwashing pilferer. There is probably some truth in each characterization. Like everything, there is . . . → Read More: Cause Marketing Is Not Philanthropy
Over the years “Pinkwasher” has become a common term used to describe the hypocrisy and lack of transparency that surrounds Breast Cancer Awareness Month and fundraising. Coined by the group Breast Cancer Action, it is technically defined as a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures, and/or sells products linked to the disease. Today, with the ubiquity of cause-marketing and breast cancer promotions, many use the term to . . . → Read More: “Just Say No” to Pinkwashing!
Posted on The Cancer Culture Chronicles Facebook Page on May 13, 2011.
Rachel Cheetham Moro, blogger at The Cancer Culture Chronicles posted the photo above in May 2011, of a collection of ironic pink products she received after winning the coveted MAAM (Mammogramatically Challenged And / Or Also Metsters) Award. The satirical award category, created by Katherine O’Brien, blogger at I Hate Breast Cancer, honors disruptive bloggers who daringly challenge the pink status quo. Rachel, still blogging under her pen name Anna Rachnel, won O’Brien’s J.K. . . . → Read More: Thinking About Rachel, Always Resisting Pinkwashing
Kroger Print Advertisement, October 2013
I’ve been getting a slew of emails this month lamenting the onslaught of pink ribbon products and superficial breast cancer awareness campaigns.
A woman currently in treatment for breast cancer sent me photos of the multi-page advertisement she received from her local grocery store chain in an email with the subject line, “Overpinked.” The Think Pink circular she shared — replete with fun ideas for hosting a pink potluck fundraiser, recipes for Pink Lemonade Frosting and Think Pink Cereal . . . → Read More: Hooked on the “Pink Sizzle”
Handcrafted tank top from a “Komen Bandit” demanding support for Metastatic Breast Cancer
October 13th is National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, an official day of recognition to encourage all people to become more informed and aware of metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer is cancer that has spread from where it originated to elsewhere in the body, usually the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. It is the initial diagnosis for about 5 percent of breast cancer cases . . . → Read More: Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
I’ll be talking live about #pinkwashing on @AJAMStream Friday at 7:30EST. Join the conversation using #AJAMStream
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so you’ve probably noticed more pink products on the shelves as companies promote awareness campaigns. But many businesses are accused of “pinkwashing” – plastering pink on their products to make a profit, while some are reportedly using cancerous chemicals. So, why is there a lack of transparency and is the purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month getting lost in the pink? Join the conversation at . . . → Read More: Buying Pink? I’ll be on Al Jazeera’s The Stream Friday, 7:30EST to discuss.
The iconic pink breast cancer awareness ribbon — once a consciousness-raising symbol — now functions primarily as a logo for the breast cancer brand.
The breast cancer brand, like any other brand, is comprised of a “set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose” the breast cancer brand over something else. It draws from a collection of recognizable symbols, images, and meanings within, in this case, mainstream breast cancer culture (i.e. pink ribbon culture) to encourage people to . . . → Read More: Riding the tails of the pink ribbon
Congratulations to Christie Aschwanden, one of this year’s winners of the Science in Society Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Association of Science Writers. Her piece, “The Real Scandal: Science Denialism at Susan G. Komen for the Cure” was posted on February 8, 2012, on the web site The Last Word on Nothing.
“It asserts that Susan G. Komen for the Cure — an organization advocating for breast cancer screening and research — ignored research on tumor biology to overemphasize screening. The judges called Aschwanden’s opinion . . . → Read More: Congratulations to Christie Aschwanden, 2013 Science in Society Journalism Awards
She is the protagonist of the epic breast cancer survivor story.
She exists in many iterations; in magazines, advertisements, news stories, and awareness events.
She is a superwoman who courageously, passionately, and aggressively battles disease.
She faces tremendous difficulties.
With style and optimism, she learns from her experience, is transformed, and shares lessons learned.
She is the SHE-RO, the triumphant survivor who fights breast cancer and wins.
Those who do not embrace her have no place in pink ribbon culture.
Cancer Vixen: A She-ro . . . → Read More: The She-ro
Dr. Susan Love just announced that three breast cancer organizations have joined forces to document the short- and long-term physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer treatments. The collaboration is part of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation’s Health of Women [HOW] Study. The goal is to collect data on the collateral damage of breast cancer treatments to share with the scientific community.
In the spirit of collaboration, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation reached out to Susan G. Komen and Young Survival Coalition as . . . → Read More: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Teams with Susan G. Komen and Young Survival Coalition to Document the Collateral Damage of Breast Cancer