The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

The ultimate pinkwashing PSA

The ultimate pinkwashing PSA


The PSA itself isn’t pinkwashing. It is about pinkwashing. By none other than Susan G. Komen for the Cure, through their “Promise Me” eau de toilette.

We’ll let Breast Cancer Action speak for themselves:

Indeed, a damning accusation. And the irony is painful.

While these ingredients are not listed on the product packaging, BCA says this is due to a regulatory loophole allowing cosmetics manufacturers to protect the secrecy of their formula (PDF).

Pink Ribbon branded products and partnerships are a huge fundraising resource for Komen, but they have come under increasing scrutiny of late for questionable endorsements like Breast Cancer fried chicken.

CNBC recently published a response by Leslie Aun, a spokeswoman for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Research doesn’t come cheap. We need to raise money, and we’re not apologetic about it,” Aun said. Komen, founded in 1982, has contributed $685 million to breast cancer research and $1.3 billion to community programs that help with mammograms, transportation and other needs, Aun said. Komen would love not to have to do marketing, but that simply is not realistic, she said.

“We don’t think there’s enough pink. We’re able to make those investments in research because of programs like that.”

Breast Cancer Action

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more