Monday, October 13, 2008

Pink Me Stupid



Call me cranky.
Colour me jaded.
Paint me cynical.

But am I the only one in Maude's green earth to be so damn sick of the Breast Cancer Awareness fund-raising, product placements, marathons, jarathons, pink-me-into-a-coma campaigns?

Now, full disclosure, I used to 'run for the cure' and raise a sizeable amount of money every year. But no more, no more.

For between the jigs and the reels of fund-raising and actually running something snapped in me a few years back:

The campaign for this "cure", raising billions upon uncountable billions year after year and never uncovering a clue made me mighty suspicious.

It's now become one of those behemoths of corporatocracy: pens, bags, underwear, tee-shirts, crocs, running shoes. You name it we can pink it. (Vacuum cleaners, yes seriously! - See above, no kidding - that is real! No, I will not provide a link. You will not buy it.)

If it can be pink-ribboned it can be promoted. Someone is making one huge shitpile of money out of all of this.

And women are still dying every day, hopeless and uncured. The cause has become the whole purpose of the campaign and it is impossible to find figures of revenues and expenditure. I bet administrative and marketing are through the roof. And it is so successful that I am viewed with disdain every time I refuse to contribute to it or buy the products.

Another final straw for me came with this:





Talk about offensive! And crude. And mysogynistic. All rolled into one. (Not to mention that the toxic plastic in the bottle might have been one of the causes of the cancer to begin with.)

PS:
What kind of water bottle will they produce for prostate cancer? One with a built-in droopy straw?

17 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes....and a million more. I'm sick of these parasites praying on people's worst fears and nightmares. The media plays up to it, the government pays lip service to it, and the fools go on buying this rubbish day in and day out. If I had my way there would be two new laws: one would ban all charitable fund raising; the other would make the government legally responsible for providing funds and overseeing work previously done by charities, for which we would all pay reasonable taxes.
    Then, I'd ban everything made of plastic.

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  2. PS And I'm bitterly disappointed in the Englishman, James Dyson, who now uses such marketing techniques to sell his vacuum cleaners.

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  3. I also get sick of the relentless publicity over breast cancer when other forms of cancer (like prostate) get much less attention. And like you I also wonder exactly where these huge sums of money are going and how much is being used productively.

    RJ, turning charity work over to governments seems rather extreme, particularly since governments waste equally as much money as charities. I think there should just be tighter controls by the charity regulators. The Charity Commission in the UK seems to turn a blind eye to a lot of dodgy practices.

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  4. you're making me laugh.

    breast cancer, obviously, is a very important thing to me--my sister died of it, my sister in law is a survivor, i have many friends and co-workers who have suffered.

    but i, too, wonder at the amount of money being raised, and the woeful amount of new information being uncovered.

    still, because of my sister, i will continue to contribute. i do not, however, load my house up with pink shit.

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  5. @RJA:
    As for me, I'd like to see a full accounting of the funding and disbursements, something is awfully rotten here. And tighter regulations on percentages spent on marketing and admin.
    @Nick:
    And you're the resident expert so to speak having been involved in the admin of these enterprises. I was going to write 'business', it is a business though, isn't it?
    @Laurie:
    I've lost some dear ones as well but there have been no breakthroughs in the 15 years since I got involved and the 10 I remained involved. I only donate now to the charities that are totally transparent.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. From across the water, I had seen that the pink ribbon thing had become a big hype and that it was as popular as 'my little pony' and that you had to be in on it or you were basically a non human and uncaring bitch. I think it overshot its mark and became a marketing monster that is biting its own tail and yes, where does all the money go? Since I don't read any women's magazines, I don't know how bad this movement is here, but I am very wary and have seen the unkind and dispassionate faces of the people who collect for the cancer funds as if they really don't give a shit and a thank you is too much effort.Wariness has become my middle name when it comes to donating to so called good causes. What we see is the professionalism of collecting money for the deserving amongst us, with a lot of the money not going to the cause, but to high management and big offices and expensive company cars.

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  7. Thanks be, finally others that think this Pink thing has gotten way out of bounds.
    I'm going Green by keep'n my hard earned green in me own pocket..

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  8. Once charity goes beyond just asking the public to put money into a collecting box, and progresses into the big time marketing scene, as it has in the case you mention, WWW the original purpose and spirit of the enterprise gets lost. And when things reach the pink vacuum cleaner stage, the situation becomes grotesque! If Mr. Dyson wants to support the charity, he could send 'em a nice fat cheque. But no - this isn't enough - he wants a little glory and a lot more profit.

    The charity seeking a cure for breast cancer does seem to have cornered the market in this kind of "charitable" business enterprise. It's sad that they've gone way too far.

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  9. @Irene:
    Exactly and well put. It has become a monster and an offensive one at that. There are so many deserving causes we can donate to and see our hard-earned money working for some good.
    @Brighid:
    Welcome. I am so glad I'm not alone in my thinking, I hesitated to put out this post as I thought a pink wrath would choke me. Thankfully not.
    @T:
    At the checkouts one sees the pens and little brooches, enough to make me bleurgh. I agree they are so way over the top and not one advancement for a cure.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. I'm sorry to say business is exactly right in many cases nowadays. 'Growing' the charity and raising more dough are often the top priorities. In fact the incoming chief executive of the last-but-one charity I worked for was previously a senior executive at one of the major British banks. I rest my case.

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  11. Nick:
    I'm going back years ago now but an executive of one of the top charities in the world who was leaving for a less 'cutthroat' position in a private corporation
    told me that many of the funds raised were used for dubious purposes like funding business associations' members who were running their businesses into bankruptcy. In other words, private bailouts.
    Maybe nothing has changed?
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Oh that is a terrible promotion (bottle label). Cancer comes in all forms to everyone and it is pretty obvious that thing was designed by a group of men. More shame, if a woman was involved.
    I don't donate, on principal, when I doubt about legitimacy but I have been buying items from shops where they say some percent of it goes to cancer search. The fact that it is now so commercialised, it is putting me off.
    I have witnessed cancer through family members and friends, it is not something that should be reduced to tasteless campaigns with pink bottle caps portrayed as nipples.
    Just like carbon footprint certificates and other stuff they sell and make so much money from.
    Ugh.
    Gx

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  13. Gaye:
    Yes, it is right up there and should be given some kind of award for insensitivity and downright poor taste.
    It is all about the money now, no news of any 'cure' or 'progress' towards a cure. I bet the research labs get maybe 10%, I'm being generous, of the funds raised.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. I have written something for you over at mine. xx

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  15. Thank you Hull, I have adorned my sidebar with it. You shouldn't. .......Yes, you should.
    I love it!!!
    XO
    WWW

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  16. I'll support cancer charities when they stop experimenting on animals (and you wouldn't have thought they have a shortage of cancer patients with nothing to lose who are only too desperate to take part in the latest drugs studies and NOT have to wait 7 years for each new drug to be release, by which time some of them might not even be around anyway).

    But yes, pink fatigue is hitting hard in UK too. And like you say WWW - what the hell are they doing with all the money raised when deaths from breast cancer do not seem to be reducing that much & those who survive seem to do so DESPITE the brutal cut/burn/poison treatment rather than because of it half the time.

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  17. Laura:
    One of my friends with breast cancer turned her back on her medical treatments and approached a shaman of our acquaintance. To make a long story very, very short, the shaman forced the tumour from her body, she has it in a jar, her doctors and oncologist are completely baffled that there's no trace of cancer but unfortunately there isn't the funding to investigate further.
    I really would like to know what's happening with those billions of dollars.
    XO
    WWW

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