Breast cancer fundraising has forever changed the way all charities raise funds by raising the bar for the marketing aspects of their campaigns. Campaigns that used to focus on heightening awareness now also add commercialization of the illness to their list of objectives.
Picard's article resonated with me because one of my relatives died of breast cancer at a young age. A former ER nurse, you might think she'd be a huge supporter of the pink ribbon brigade but she wasn't. Instead, she took offence to the campaigns that turn support for breast cancer research into something trendy and even glamorous.
Years later, the situation is even more blatant than at the time of her death, with so many companies climbing on the bandwagon: buy this product, and we'll donate a few cents to breast cancer research. As a consumer, you are made to feel like you're evil for bypassing every opportunity to contribute. Your feelings are manipulated to get you to purchase products; the donation, to the extent it exists, is your penance.
Two years ago, Lea Goldman at Marie Claire authored a terrific article, The Big Business of Breast Cancer. Do yourself a favour - read the article and think about who is benefiting from your prospective donations before you climb on the next fundraising bandwagon. The charities that funnel most of the funds raised to research are truly deserving of your support; the trendy "We can make a buck off this" coloured ribbon crowd are not.