I bought Dannon yogurt recently not because of the pink tie-in, but because I like strawberry yogurt. Nevertheless, after noticing the message printed on the back of the lid which urged me to go to a website and enter a code to help raise money to fight breast cancer, I decided "Why not?" - it'd be something interesting to blog about this morning.
Turns out that Dannon's partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation is helping raise money to fight cancer - with 10 cents being donated for every time a special code (found under the foil lids of specially marketed Dannon yogurt products) is entered on the cupsofhope.com website. Here's the landing page ...
All of which prompted me to do a little research into how yogurt ties in with breast cancer prevention, other than being "healthy" or good for you, and here's where it got interesting.
Up popped an article about "pinkwashing" - the practice where corporations try to boost sales by "pushing pink," tie to a product and then rake in the bucks. From the article:
Consider this, from another article on AOL Health where a breast cancer survivor weighs in on whether pink product overload has gone too far:"For consumers, pinkwashing makes it hard to arrive at an informed choice when making ethical purchases. In some cases, pinkwashing is also used to brand products which are bad for human health, including products which contain suspected carcinogens!Some activists have suggested putting an end to branded tie-ins altogether, and asking consumers to donate directly to breast cancer charities and research organizations. Others argue that the availability of such products makes it possible for people who would not normally donate to give to the cause. In other words, if you're going to purchase yogurt anyway, you might as well purchase yogurt that benefits breast cancer patients, but you might not send a donation independently.
"Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., for example, has turned their alcoholic drink pink, and will make a $250,000-contribution to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation this year. We’re talking alcohol here – and research shows that as little as one to two drinks a day can up the risk of diagnosis. Yoplait was another past offender, promoting their Save Lids to Save Lives program while making their yogurt with rBGH, the possibly-cancer-causing artificial growth hormone given to cows. Yoplait has come around, and their yogurt is now rBGH-free -- thanks to an online campaign by Think Before You Pink, a project of Breast Cancer Action calling for more accountability by companies and increased responsibility by consumers."So that's a lesson for both consumers AND corporations/marketers.