Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink is an intriguing campaign that holds organizations’ cause marketing campaigns accountable to disclose the actual specifics of their campaign. Breast Cancer Action determines whether companies are genuine with their marketing campaign effects or just pink washing to increase the bottom line.
Unlike other breast cancer awareness organizations, Breast Cancer Action does not accept contributions from corporations that may create real or apparent conflicts of interest, or who engage in practices that may endanger public health or contribute to cancer incidence. As such, no money is accepted from pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers, oil companies, tobacco companies, and health insurance organizations. In addition to this stance, the group also started a campaign to call for more transparency and accountability by companies who participate in breast cancer fundraising.
Think Before You Pink campaign encourages consumers to ask five questions when determining whether to purchase an item from a company that promises donations to breast cancer organizations. Many companies, from Yoplait to Brita, and BMW to Fox Home Movies, have sold products either in the color pink, with pink ribbons on the packaging, or have created campaigns in order to donate money to organizations. The questions are as follows (from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=13 ):
- How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
- What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
- How are the funds being raised?
- To what breast cancer organization does the money go and what types of programs does it support?
- What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
Breast Cancer Action suggests that the consumer must determine whether the answers to these questions are acceptable to him or her, or not. Certainly no one would deny that donations are a wonderful thing, but we must all determine whether or not we can support an organization that caps donations, for example. It may be the same with Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a whole – certainly any movement that strives to bring attention to the needs of women and advocate for a cure cannot be discredited. But we may all be better served if we turn allow ourselves to ask questions and offer criticism, when warranted, in order to protect the greater good.