Does Commercialization of the Pink Ribbon Add Value to the Cause? did a “quick poll” to ask this question. Though there is no information about how many people responded to the poll or had the opportunity to respond, whether the sample was representative of any particular population, or how long the poll ran, the organization reports that 71% of responders said “YES” – pink ribbon commercialization adds value.

To answer this question, the pollster and the responder would have to know, and agree upon, what is meant by value. If value refers to raising money, then the $6 billion raised for the cause would suggest that value is added. We could have pink ribbon theme parks for the cure, gambling for the cure, and so on. But value is more than monetary. In fact, what people value most has no monetary value at all. Those things are priceless.

What do we value when it comes to the cause of breast cancer? How does what we do to support the cause reflect or diminish what we value?

Does pink hair really show you care? Do pink trinkets minimize the magnitude of a life-threatening illness? Are personal care products that contain unregulated chemicals linked to cancer the best choice to raise money for a fight against cancer? Are m&ms the best way to fundraise for a disease that feeds on sugar? Does the valorization of the breast trivialize the damage or loss of this part of a woman’s body? How does the abundance of pink fundraising help or hurt the causes of other life threatening illnesses? If the eradication of breast cancer is the goal, what percentage of funds raised should go to research compared to awareness programs? Does visibility necessitate awareness? What does awareness mean? How much money is enough? How should that money be spent? If pink ribbon fundraising becomes a vital revenue stream for cause marketers, corporations, and nonprofit organizations, does it limit incentives to eradicate the disease?

What do YOU think?

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3 comments to Does Commercialization of the Pink Ribbon Add Value to the Cause?

  • All very good questions Gayle. We can only hope these issues start gaining more attention from the mainstream media. Once they get over their fear of being labelled anti-breast-cancer by the marketers driving the Pink Ribbon machine, of course.

  • Caitlin

    That the poll appears on provides a pretty biased polling sample. If you don’t think pink ribbon has value, you probably won’t be at this site to begin with. My quick two cents.

"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest

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