PinkWashing by unscrupulous marketers has been an ongoing challenge for credible charities and brands that have positive goals. Dollar store goods sporting pink ribbons make us feel that these are products we should purchase with some higher purpose. Often little or no money is given to charity or there is a plethora of fine print these brands place on their support.
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we thought this recent email from a customer was timely;
On Oct 2, 2013, at 11:18 PM, Barbara wrote: Dear Purely Great,
I really like your product, and alternate between it and a LUSH deodorant bar. I would use PG exclusively only I’m on a tight budget. I love your environmental policies and non-toxic ingredients, and that you promote Environmental Defence’s Just Beautiful campaign.
I was therefore surprised and disappointed by PG’s Give Pink campaign. By jumping on the “pink ribbon campaign” bandwagon, PG is joining a campaign whose cynical choices have put its very meaning in question.
The idea behind the pink ribbon campaign may have been good at the start, and I know there are many people who join it for very good reasons. But unfortunately it is now cynically used as a source of profit for those who fight the regulation of carcinogens and breast cancer prevention awareness. For instance, did you know that there are “pink ribbon” personal care products that contain chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer?
I have learned to “think before I pink.” I hope that Purely Great will do the same. Next year I hope that PG will choose to support Breast Cancer Action, or one of its allies, instead. http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=13
Our reply: Hi Barbara,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions. The genesis for our support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Ontario came from personal experience with breast cancer in our family and this organization in particular.
As part of other work projects, we have had direct insight into how CBCF funds leading breast cancer researchers and the breakthroughs they have made as a result of this ongoing funding support. We have also spoken with numerous families and survivors and again learned first hand how CBCF provided them with support through their battles with the disease.
We understand many companies have less than scrupulous business practices including “pink washing” their products to sell more, we don’t. We actually do donate on a quarterly basis 10% of gross sales of our unscented cream deodorant product to the CBCF, no maximum donation, no hidden fine print. We have a breast healthy product and as such supporting CBCF is a good fit and a way for us to make a direct contribution to a cause we believe in.
We appreciate your time and passion in keeping companies accountable.
If you would like more information about The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and their internal screening process, please feel free to contact; (Contact name withheld for this Blog Post)
Regards, Philip Pellat Purelygreat Inc.
From: Barbara Date: October 7, 2013 9:18:29 AM EDT To: Philip Pellat Subject: Re: disappointed in PG’s Give Pink campaign
Dear Mr. Pellat, Thank you for your email. I understand, and appreciate the research and commitment of yourself and your company to breast cancer research.