Thursday, October 27, 2011

ugly in pink

I confess...I initially thought it was just the jealousy.  I've talked before about how I have a bit of ribbon-envy.  Endometriosis is a life-altering condition that simply seems to be ignored while other diseases get the front page treatment.  Breast cancer is certainly one of those.  I see the pink ribbons and I DO understand it is important to dedicate time and money to researching and educating folks, but I also feel like it is presented as the only disease out there.  I want my ribbon.

So, I think I noticed the increase in pink more than others might.  It just seems like, especially in October, EVERYTHING is pink and ribboned.  I also began to feel increasing skepticism about it.  Envy aside and other things in the products being equal, I would pick a product that donates money to breast cancer or another cause over one that simply goes to corporate coffers (I also like small companies, but that's another issue).  But the pinkification of products makes me very skeptical about how many are truly genuine in their motives. 

I've read a few articles lately that confirmed my suspicions.  Pink has become a trend and a marketing ploy, not always a genuine cause.  I think there are some attempts at charity-development that are well-intentioned but poorly executed and those frustrate me.  But the companies that knowingly play on sympathies...I don't even have the words.  I may have ribbon envy, but the outright deception is horrid. 

I know there is SO much that needs the attention of marketing regulators, but I hope this is high on their lists and I hope there's a crackdown coming.  I believe that consumers need to be informed, both in terms of general purchasing and charitable giving but I think they need a little more help here.  Charity Navigator does some of this but I don't think they cover the marketing stuff, focusing more on donor-style giving (and are limited by their info resources).

I'd love a dedicated ribbon from a group that vets ribbons (pink and otherwise).  I'd totally buy those products.

1 comment:

Lauren Starks said...

the pink thing bugs me. we've had 3 "pink events" this month at work. (1)everyone wear pink (2) real men wear pink and (3) Yoplait Pink Lids and Pink Striped Bagel Day. (shrug on that one)

I don't like it, but feel "obligated" to participate because partners and managers tend to notice those who don't participate. Those that don't participate in firm functions tend to have harder time during performance review times -- which is entirely not fair and defeats the purpose of "pink."

(And to make things worse, my firm is 40 years old this year -- and we're doing 40 community service projects during this year. It's "always something" kind of feeling around here."