|Posted on October 25, 2012 at 6:30 AM|
Ravioli do not need pink stripes to be tasty. Shoes don't need to be pink to protect your feet. Fried chicken does not need to come in pink buckets to wreck your cholesterol. And you do not need to feel guilty about skipping "pinkwashed" products.
It's a sham.
I have nothing against helping out breast cancer causes. But what I do oppose is using the pink color associated with breast cancer to mislead consumers. So should you.
It starts when a company pays a lump sum to a breast cancer charity. That'd be fine if things stopped there. But they don't.
The company then "pinkwashes" its product. If it's ravioli, they become pink ravioli. If it's shoes, they become pink shoes. You get the drift.
When a consumer goes shopping for ravioli, there's a pink product standing out against competing items. The theory goes that the consumer is more likely to pick the pinkwashed product. There's a perception that doing so helps breast cancer charities.
However, in many cases, not a single cent of that purchase actually goes to charity. It's just a marketing trick.
If this sounds too cynical to be true, don't doubt me. There's a package of Pasta Prima pink-striped ravioli in my freezer right now (pictured at left). Although the product sports a pink ribbon, there's a disclaimer on the package: "Pasta Prima is donating $20,000, regardless of purchase, to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation." It doesn't matter if I bought one or 1,000 packages. It wouldn't affect the donation.
According to ThinkBeforeYouPink.org, the Dansko shoe company did the same thing with pink clogs to the tune of a $25,000 donation.
Taking a different approach, KFC's Buckets for the Cure in 2010 donated 50 cents of each purchase to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It raised a total of $4,249,539. I can't find a source for how many buckets that works out to, but my calculator says 8,499,078.
That's roughly 8.5 million buckets. Of fried chicken. "For the cure."
How can you make sure you're not getting grifted? Read the rest in my guest blog post at I Meant to Read That.