For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary DeLucco
Breast Cancer Action
(415) 243-9301 ext. 16
(415) 243-9301 ext. 19
San Francisco—Breast Cancer Action (BCA) today launched its annual Think Before You Pink campaign with a new focus—“pinkwashing” companies that increase sales by putting pink ribbons on their products, even though these products contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.
Since its inception in 2002, BCA’s Think Before You Pink campaign has been urging consumers to ask critical questions about the hundreds of pink ribbon products and promotions that are marketed every October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCA calls it Breast Cancer Industry Month). Calling for transparency and accountability from companies that use pink ribbons to sell products, BCA believes that consumers can and should ask questions about how the money is being raised and where the money is going.
The big question of the campaign this year is which companies are engaging in pink ribbon marketing while manufacturing products that are contributing to the epidemic. Toward this end, BCA is singling out the car, dairy, and cosmetics industries.
“These pinkwashing companies are trying to have it both ways,” says BCA Executive Director Barbara A. Brenner. “If they care as deeply as they say they do about women’s lives, they’ll clean up their products.”
For example, Ford, Mercedes, and BMW are each raising funds with campaigns that urge consumers to buy and drive cars for breast cancer awareness and research. However, car exhaust contains toxic chemicals that are linked to the disease, and by urging consumers to buy and drive polluting cars in the name of breast cancer, they are also encouraging consumers to unwittingly help increase the incidence of the disease.
“We’re not telling anyone not to buy these products or not to drive,” says Brenner. “We’re asking that consumers think before they buy, contact the companies to demand cleaner products, and remember that they have options. That’s why it’s called ‘Think Before You Pink’.”
The Think Before You Pink web site, features an updated “Parade of Pink,” a list of some of the hundreds of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market, as well as a list of the six critical questions consumers can ask before buying a pink ribbon-wrapped product.
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Breast Cancer Action is a non-profit education and advocacy organization that does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies or any other organizations that profit from or contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.