Thursday, October 10, 2002

Marketing Hypocrisy and Breast Cancer

Peggy Orenstein has a new piece in the Los Angeles Times (free registration required). It begins:

The first time pink ribbons made me see red was a couple of years back, when I was stopped short by a sign at a gas station. Cunningly placed next to a pump, it sported the ubiquitous pink bow and read: "Be a driving force against breast cancer."

For me, who had finished treatment for the disease three years earlier at the age of 35, that tore it. Corporations know that those pink ribbons translate into green cash: According to a 2000 Opinion Research International poll, more than two-thirds of women said they would purchase a product linked to the fight against breast cancer.

But how many of them will ask how their money is actually spent or how corporate donors may themselves "drive" the breast cancer agenda?

Good stuff about the catch-22 of corporate-sponsored "breast cancer awareness" campaigns. Environmental toxins are believed by many to be contributors to cancer, yet the same companies that draw customers by supposedly supporting "the battle against breast cancer" and its "survivors" are some of the biggest environmental offenders out there.

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