This may be an unpopular and somewhat serious post, but we feel it needs to be said. This Friday marks Lee’s National Denim Day for Breast Cancer in which many of us wear our denim to work and pay $5 to go to charity for breast cancer. As many of you know, October is breast cancer awareness month. But haven’t some retailers gone too far? Everywhere you look companies have a pink product (think marketing, pink is sexy!) with some percentage, however tiny, which may go to breast cancer research. The Seattle Times says:
You can suck on a Tic Tac (79 cents) or feed your dog a treat (AvoDerm Dog Kookies, $3.50) from pink-ribboned containers. You can dress, vacuum, eat, even sleep for the cure (on a pink Serta mattress). But what you can’t do, in many cases, is know with certainty just how much your pink purchases are helping in the fight against breast cancer.
Ooooh, how about a pink George Foreman grill, anyone?
Our editor here at TheDenimBlog is a cancer survivor herself and knows first hand the struggle of dealing with cancer, and we totally empathize with all cancer patients and survivors. But with the amount of pink products out there, shouldn’t we have this thing cured by now? What about other forms of cancer? Do you see them marketing products everywhere? We feel that companies are going too far with taking a great cause (breast cancer research) and using it for their own personal profits. I mean who wants to lick a thousand Yoplait lids and send in the disgusting curdled milky lids? Ick! Why can’t Yoplait just donate an amount equal to the sales of this yogurt? How many people actually take the time to clean and mail in the lids?
The facts are that many other diseases such as heart disease affect more people in the world, but then why are corporations jumping all over each other to market “pink” products? The truth is that breast cancer is a great illness to exploit for profit because when we think of the breast, its feminine and pretty, and its easy to make the whole “pink” theme sexy for marketing. Do we really want to look at pictures of fatty hearts and clogged arteries when we shop for products like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, Yoplait, Estee Lauder Lipstick, Totes umbrellas, BMWs, Guess watches, or other products in which a purchase during October results in a donation to breast cancer causes?
All we are saying is wear your denim, but support your causes and favorite charities wisely. Don’t just buy into the marketing for a product because they donate 5 cents to research, send the charity a check directly instead – and research which ones donate a larger percentage to actual research, not just to marketing or admin expenses. You might be surprised if you ask your charity what percentage they actually send to research and how much is for marketing of their “brand”. We are all about brand names, but not when it comes to our favorite charity. Help the cause, not the company marketing it.
Read more about this topic on thepanelist.com