Call me grumpy, but I've soured on the "pinking" of October in the name of breast cancer awareness.
I just don't see the point of buying pink hair extensions or pink tinted cologne so that a few cents will be donated to a breast cancer cause.
Cause-related marketing does very well for the most part, and consumers enjoy buying products from socially responsible companies, but it can go too far.
I recently got pitched for a pink tour bus in New York City, pink themed parties for the girls, sparkling bottled water, and skin care sets, all of which are somehow supporting breast cancer causes. My apologies to the hard-working PR people who have to push these things.
Many people who work hard at advocating for research, cure, and awareness of breast cancer are fed up with "pink washing" by companies that really just ride on the coattails of the breast cancer cause to sell more of their frivolous products.
Look, do support breast cancer causes in October and throughout the year, but send your money directly to one or more charities.
If you do buy a product that is tied to breast cancer awareness, make sure that you'd buy that product anyway, that it supports a charity that you know spends its money wisely, and that a decent portion of what you pay will go to the cause. Don't just buy something because it's pink.
Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog that rates charities based on their transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness, has posted an excellent video and article about how to make sure cause-related products make sense for you.
Charity Navigator also has a list of breast cancer related organizations. Pick one of the 4 and 3-star rated ones for your donation and give your money directly.
Breast cancer is serious. We should support its awareness, research, and cure. Just don't get pink-punked this October.
Photo: Diane Macdonald/Getty Images
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