Together, over the years, we’ve changed the landscape of pink ribbon marketing. Pinkwashing is now a household word. People understand that you always have to “follow the money” in pink ribbon marketing. We’ve exposed the hypocrisy in pink ribbon fundraising and achieved some momentous wins against corporations. Even Consumer Reports magazine said this October that “the message of ‘think before you pink’ has gotten out.” And this year’s Think Before You Pink campaign generated the largest grassroots opposition to pinkwashing ever. Together, we are turning the tide and we couldn’t have done it without you. In four short weeks, here’s a glimpse of the impact we’ve made:
- This October, we took Think Before You Pink a step further and targeted some of the most outrageous pink ribbon promotions that exemplify everything that’s wrong with pink ribbon culture. We called out the empty awareness, the misinformation, the profiteering, the pinkwashing, the degrading of women, and the “tyranny of cheerfulness” that hides the social injustices and harsh realities of this disease. Our Think Before You Pink campaign, Stop the Distraction, exploded like a firestorm. Within days of the launch over 1,500 people contacted six corporations and organizations that exemplify how pink ribbon culture and marketing distract from meaningful progress on breast cancer.
- Our graphic calling out the NFL’s misleading “Crucial Catch: early detection saves lives” campaign reached over 200,000 people on social media and generated conversations all over the mainstream media on the limitations of annual screening and early detection. We also wrote an op-ed about this issue that was published in The Guardian.
- When global fracking corporation Baker Hughes created 1,000 pink drill bits “for the cure” and donated $100,000 to breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen, we declared their campaign one of the most egregious examples of pinkwashing we’ve ever seen. Fracking is a toxic process – at least 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer. With this pinkwashing tryst, Komen is complicit in a practice that endangers women’s health. This is unacceptable and in just 14 days, over 168,700 outraged people signed petitions demanding Susan G. Komen break ties with the fracking industry and take a stand against this toxic process. Thanks to our national and local partners at EcoWatch, Oil Change International, Food & Water Watch, CREDO Action, Friends of the Harmed and New Voices Pittsburgh this really was a groundswell of grassroots activism. And don’t miss our op-ed in The Washington Post about the pink drill bits.
- We delivered your petition signatures directly to Susan G. Komen and organized a rally outside the Pittsburgh Steelers football game where Komen was scheduled to accept Baker Hughes’ $100,000 check. Komen heard our objections, and in response to public pressure, scrapped a public check presentation in favor of a private exchange.
- All October long, the national media lit up with stories about our Think Before You Pink campaign: from NBC News to NPR to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to Mother Jones to Feministing and more. Together we are changing the national conversation about breast cancer.
This October, our outrage and our work together created the largest grassroots opposition to pinkwashing ever. During a month when all too often the distraction of pink stops the world from focusing on the important issues in breast cancer, this year our collective action and the increased media attention shone a spotlight on the specific ways pink ribbon campaigns misinform, distract, demean, exploit, and harm women. And by calling out Komen’s fracking partnership, we made absolutely clear where this giant breast cancer charity stands when it comes to protecting women’s health and widely publicized the health harms of fracking. Thank you so much – none of this is possible without your support.