BCAM Wall of Shame - Solis Mammography's P.I.N.K. Campaign

UPDATE: The Solis Mammography Rethink Pink Campaign critiqued below was written about in the BMJ Feature “Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns” by Meg Carter, Oct. 12, 2015. “What we are now seeing is the pink ribbon movement taking the language of those opposed to pink ribbon culture to reframe the pinkwash debate to their own advantage,” says Sulik. “Just what it will take for campaigners to move beyond awareness and fundraising to more critical thinking, however, remains to be seen.”

Every year Pink Ribbon Blues gets numerous PR pitches, most of which come from companies and organizations looking to profit from the breast cancer industry. I thought you might like to see some of them.

Read the pitch. Read the Retort.

And, if you’re so moved, contact these folks yourself.

This PR pitch comes from Karen Carrera. CEO is James Polfreman (jpolfreman@solishealth.com), and the company’s twitter handle is @solismammo.

ADDISON, TEXAS (Sept. 30, 2015) — In the month of October, the color pink has become synonymous with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everything from consumer products to the NFL is splashed in pink. And for this heightened awareness, the team at Solis Mammography applauds the efforts of so many organizations who work hard to create and maintain this public awareness campaign. And yet, in true ironic form, today’s reality is that too many women avoid getting their annual mammogram because of the fear and anxiety associated with breast cancer.

“Based on extensive research we’ve done with women who do – or do not – get their annual mammogram, we’ve learned that the fear and anxiety associated with the pink ribbon causes too many women to stay away,” says Connie Oliver, VP marketing and client relations for Solis Mammography. “We’ve built our patient services model to try to change that.”

Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of screening and diagnostics for breast health services, wants to shift the focus of October with its Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign. Instead of being all about breast cancer awareness, the company urges women to think about October as breast health awareness, celebrating women with a positive message of empowerment.

In this campaign, the color “pink” is rethought and becomes an acronym, “P.I.N.K.”

•    P=Peace of Mind. Solis Mammography has trademarked the Peace of Mind Mammogram™ to reflect their promise of offering such an exceptional experience that women won’t avoid getting the mammogram they need. The environment of each center and exceptional quality of patient care offered by specialists in breast imaging leads to peace of mind for the patients they serve.

•    I=Incredible Service. Solis Mammography’s entire team is deeply committed to the women and physicians they serve. From online scheduling and fast results delivered by secure email within 24 to 48 hours, the company is proud to cite that 98 percent of their patients would give them a positive recommendation to family or friends.

•    N=Not what you Expect. While many women associate mammograms with pain, Solis’ breast-dedicated technologists are highly trained in breast compression and placement. This results in 89 percent of their patients reporting little to no discomfort during their exam.

•    K=Knowledge is Power. Perhaps most central to their Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign is the common statistic most women cite – that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. At Solis, they encourage women to remember that this also means 7 in 8 women will NOT get breast cancer. But if you are the 1 in 8, you want to find any anomaly as EARLY as possible, so that your treatment is as EASY as possible.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. Other organizations cite every other year as the optimal time to get checked. Solis Mammography encourages women to talk to their doctor, explain their unique health history, and make the choice that’s right for them. When they are ready, however, Solis is there to offer an exceptional experience – eliminating stress and anxiety in every way possible.

“For more than 30 years, we’ve been empowering women through our team of highly-focused, breast-dedicated healthcare professionals,” says James Polfreman, Solis Mammography CEO. “In addition, we offer fast and easy online scheduling, the latest in 3D technology, expedited tablet registration, and ease of communication through email, text or phone calls – whatever makes it easiest for our patients.”

One Solis Mammography client says, “I’m concerned about breast health – for myself, my husband, and my kids. I go to Solis every year because they make it easy for me. I’m in and out quickly, I get my results within a day by email, and I get the peace of mind that comes from knowing I’m all clear for another year.”

Pink apparel, pink ribbons – they’re everywhere in October. Solis invites women to Rethink P.I.N.K., take charge of their breast health, and schedule their annual mammograms. Because peace of mind is worth taking the time to find.

02 Solis MammographyAbout Solis Mammography

Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused exclusively on providing women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis currently operates 31 centers across four states – Texas, Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina. The company operates both wholly owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis provides a complete range of highly specialized breast health services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy.

For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like them on Facebook, follow them on Pinterest, or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

About Rethink P.I.N.K.

Solis Mammography created the Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign in 2015 to coincide with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to shift the focus of pink messaging to issues around women’s breast health: P = Peace of Mind, I = Incredible Service, N = Not What You Think, and K = Knowledge Is Power.

# #  #

COOPER SMITH AGENCY, 17950 Preston Road ste. 390, Dallas, 75252 Texas, United States


I agree. Let’s rethink pink. But I don’t think the Solis acronym works. Here’s one with greater potential to “shift the focus of pink messaging.”


P = Pinkwashing. Supporting the breast cancer cause or promoting a pink ribbon product while producing, manufacturing, and/or selling products linked to the disease. In recent years the definition of pinkwashing has expanded to include any company or organization that exploits breast cancer for profit or public relations motivations.

I = Infantalization. To treat or condescend to as if still a young child. Really, what IS IT about femininity that by its very nature seems to be so “incompatible with full adulthood — a state of arrested development.” Barbara Ehrenreich raised that question at least 15 years ago. Still relevant.

N = National Breast Cancer Industry Month. “Every October begins the media blitz known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Pink ribbons abound, and the message you keep hearing is, “Get Your Mammogram!” No mention is ever made in the official NBCAM materials of the need to find the causes of cancer so that we can prevent it. Not surprisingly, NBCAM was originally created by a drug company — now called AstraZeneca — that, in addition to producing breast cancer treatment drugs, profited from the sale of an herbicide known to cause cancer. To bring attention to this history and the need to find true cancer prevention, activists reclaimed October and renamed it National Breast Cancer Industry Month. Throughout the month, various campaigns are held to educate the public about the corporate connections to cancer and the need to refocus attention on what needs to be done to stop cancer before it starts.” — Breast Cancer Action

K = Knowledge is power. (We agree on that one.) The problem with screening mammography is that some breast cancers don’t show up well on mammograms, or at all; some cancers, even though they may be small, have already spread throughout the body; and some of the most aggressive types of breast cancer show up between mammograms. In the end, “early” may not be early enough in determining prognosis. Researchers have identified at least ten molecular types of breast cancer, each associated with different prognoses. Because of cancer’s complexity, the limitations of x-rays and computer-aided technologies, as well as differences in expertise among radiologists and diagnostic centers, screening has helped to reduce the relative disease-specific death rate by only about 15 percent. Some studies put the screening-associated reduction as low as zero. And to date, very large studies have failed to find reductions in all-cause mortality for mammography screening for any age group. Here’s some data on screening mammography.

It is quite possible that women are avoiding mammograms every year not out of fear or anxiety as you suggest, Solis Mammography, but because they have weighed the body of evidence and made an informed decision. Here’s a woman who opted out of the annual mammogram for very rational reasons. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

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"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 cutt.ly/jei8WJr

“Pink Ribbon Blues”

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