Write Before Thinking

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Selling in the name of cancer.

From toasters to bags of chips to blue jeans, breast cancer has become the celebrity of corporate-causes. And while some of these companies donate significant portions of their profits to breast cancer research, many are simply using the disease as a clever marketing tool.

It’s crap.

I was always told that charity should never be about bringing attention to one’s self, which is why I am insulted by companies who use Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the disease which claimed my mother as a ploy to increase sales. Sure, I appreciate that these companies are donating some of their proceeds to breast cancer research, but I’d appreciate it a hell of a lot more if they went about it with some semblance of discretion.

Of course why would they want to do that?

More often than not, such corporate-causes have little to do with the actual cause as much as they do with you the consumer knowing that they support such causes. Sure, you may think you’re not that impressionable or naive to make your purchase decisions based on whether or not you favorite brand of frozen pizza supports autism or missing children or breast cancer, but I’m willing to bet that it makes a difference.

And why not? We want our favorite brands to be responsible and charitable. It makes us feel good about buying their products. However, to believe said companies are supporting the latest cause of the month solely out of the goodness of their hearts is foolish.

Which brings me back to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. No disease has enjoyed as much corporate fanfare and enthusiasm as breast cancer. In fact, it seems as if every company in the consumer packaged goods industry is getting behind the cause. And while it is great that so much money is being generated, it is important to know what companies are serious about finding a cure and which are just in it to sell a few more units.

I encourage you to visit www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org and learn more about what they are doing to educate consumers about companies engaging (and in some cases profiting) from breast cancer fundraising.

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