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Pinkwash: It Takes More To Prove You Care About Breast Cancer

We’re coming up on Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, which means once again corporations are suddenly swimming in a sea of pink.

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Pink products are everywhere-pink frying pans, pink pens, pink tennis balls, even pink vacuum cleaners. And if the product itself isn’t pink, the ubiquitous pink ribbon is emblazoned on it somewhere.


The pink ribbon campaign is probably one of the best public relations campaigns in existence-all it asks of people is to make a symbolic gesture of support and to make a financial gesture of support if possible. Simple and noble.  And I like pink.  So maybe I’m a little biased, but there’s no doubt it’s effective.


But now it’s nearly a victim of its own simplicity-it’s so easy for corporations to tint their products pink for a month or two that the public is beginning to grow cynical of any attempt to show support for breast cancer research.


It takes visibility and proof of action now to show that a company is committed to make a difference, and the best way to do that is to create an event in support.

True, not every company is in a position to sponsor an entire charity drive-like the CIBC Run For The Cure-but organizations that do want to make a difference can certainly hitch their star to a bigger event like the Run. Events like that create life evidence that a company cares-and yes, it does raise the vital funds for the cause in the process.


In fact, the CIBC is encouraging other organizations to participate in Think Pink Week this week in support of the October 5 Run, which creates an opportunity for businesses make a monetary donation tied to an existing event.  Suits me fine-an excuse to wear pink and a chance to make a donation for doing so sounds fun to me.


Showing local support is also a great way to show a company wants to make a difference. Running smaller, specific events to raise funds for local hospitals and breast cancer support groups creates direct involvement with the community and raises an organization’s profile.


A slightly different approach is all it takes to show an organization is dedicated to eliminating breast cancer-and in the end, it’s a PR move that really will make a difference.  Now,  what did I do with my pink platform shoes?….