Pink is the new orange, at least in October. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and products promoting discussion and research are everywhere; even the NFL is joining “Pinktober.”
Controversy has emerged around brands pink-washing products for their own financial gain. These items are released, as special editions, in October but don’t benefit breast cancer research or patients. Leisha Davison-Yasol, blogger and breast cancer survivor, voiced her annoyance with Pinktober on a Huffington Post blog. She asks people to rethink pink, shop wisely and donate to the cause directly.
Although some products go pink only to promote general awareness, there are many that actually support breast cancer organizations. The New York Times lists Bobbi Brown, Essie and Marc Jacobs as a few brands whose pink products raise money for a cure.
According to Cone Communications’ Social Impact Study, 89 percent of Americans are likely to switch to a brand that is associated with a cause.
A statistic like this might have clients rushing to align their products with a cause like Breast Cancer Awareness without thinking about the big picture, including their credibility.
Do you think it’s a good public relations move to go pink while only promoting Breast Cancer awareness and not donating to the cause? Does this create an image of corporate-social responsibility? If your client wanted to align with a cause, what recommendations would you give them?