Raise a Stink! Campaign Summary

Thank you so much to to everyone who advocated for women’s health during this year’s Think Before You Pink® campaign. We are excited to report back to you about the campaign’s results and successes.

The Problem

For 10 years Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink® campaign has called out pinkwashers, which put profits before women’s lives. Pinkwashing reached a new low in 2011 with “Promise Me;” a perfume commissioned by the giant of the breast cancer movement Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Through independent laboratory testing, BCAction discovered that Promise Me contains unlisted chemicals that: (a) are regulated as toxic and hazardous, (b) have not been adequately evaluated for human safety, and (c) that have demonstrated negative health effects. Together we took on Komen’s pinkwashing, and your actions resulted in a huge success!

Raise a Stink! Campaign Goals

On September 27, we launched our Raise a Stink! campaign asking the public to send letters to Komen urging them to (a) recall Promise Me perfume and (b) sign BCAction’s Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing in order to:

1) Draw attention to the issue of pinkwashing and our ongoing Think Before You Pink® work to raise public awareness and change the conversation;

2) Engage activists to send letters to Komen leadership urging them to stand with women affected by and at risk of breast cancer;

3) Hold Komen accountable and urge them to act to ensure that the products they sell in the name of breast cancer do not increase a woman’s risk of the disease.

Raise a Stink! Results

1) BCAction received unprecedented nationwide and overwhelmingly favorable media coverage!  We were quoted and featured in Marie Claire magazine, the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, and NPR’s On Point, among other media outlets.

2) 4,915 people sent letters to Komen leadership

3) Komen issued a public statement “in response to questions raised about ingredients in Promise Me perfume.”

Raise a Stink! Successes

Raise a Stink! marked several successes in putting people before profits, demanding accountability in breast cancer fundraising, and empowering consumers. This campaign educated the public about the unlisted chemicals in Komen’s Promise Me perfume and raised awareness about the issue of pinkwashing. We also equipped the public with tools and specific actions to take to ensure that companies are not exploiting women’s good intentions and selling products linked to an increased risk of the disease. Together we:

1) Demanded accountability from Komen which was forced to respond with a public statement in recognition of the fact that eyes are on them as they move forward with a reformulation of the perfume for release next year.

2) Engaged and empowered activists for women’s health as people across the country turned their outrage to action and shared with friends and families.

3) Changed the conversation about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pinkwashing as public outcry drew the media’s attention nationwide.

This entry was posted in BCA News.

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