Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cancer Awareness: Genuine or Hype?

Breast cancer awareness has received a great deal attention over the past several years (much more than NHL), and the color pink has become virtually synonymous with breast cancer awareness. Marketers have done an excellent job promoting awareness campaigns and countless companies now sell pink products, with a portion of the proceeds going towards breast cancer research. While I have to admit that the level of attention this community receives is impressive, there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy and hype going on. Here are a few examples to demonstrate my point:
  • Earlier this year, KFC launched a 'Buckets for the Cure' campaign that promised to donate 50 cents from every bucket of fried chicken sold to 'end breast cancer forever.' Too bad KFC's chicken is loaded with cancer-causing chemicals like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and fried in trans-fat oils.

  • Back in 2002, both Yoplait and Dannon painted their yogurt products pink, even though the milk used in their production came from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Despite reassurances from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that rBGH is safe, the artificial hormone chemical actually contributes to causing cancer.

  • A Canadian gas station chain covers their stations in pink ribbons every year, even though the pollution caused by burned gasoline is linked cancer as well.
-Exceprts from Nautral News

I think that the amount of attention and funding that breast cancer receives is tremendous, and I hope that NHL will reach that level of support someday. However, we need to be cautious of companies simply looking to bolster their PR. Instead of buying a bracelet that proudly claims that you support cancer awareness, why not donate the same amount of money straight to the cause?


  1. If people donate money straight to the cause, how will they let everyone else know that they are conscientious and generous people. Plus, bracelets allow you to accessorize your altruism, which is really important.

  2. I just read about alcohol companies doing the same thing. Take for example Mike's Hard Lemonade, offering pink varieties to support breast cancer. There's been quite a bit of backlash. Check out this article:

  3. Hey Jenny- Do you mind if I quote your post? I want to write a follow up on my site.

  4. No, go ahead Nathan. I look forward to reading it!