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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Is A Marketing Scam

October 7, 2013

Thought Catalog

It’s October, which only means one thing: pink ribbons, yogurt labels, football jerseys and buckets of fried chicken will be popping up everywhere. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, and it’s with that news that I warn: it’s all a scam.

Susan G. Komen For the Cure

Since 1982, Susan G. Komen For the Cure has used the month of October to galvanize women to their cause, kicking things into fundraising mode. Nearly $400 million was raised by Komen in 2010 alone, working with corporations like Yoplait and Ford to strike up campaigns centered around charitable contributions to a foundation supposedly set up to fund research into the second leading cancer-caused of death in American women (behind lung cancer).

Komen raises money through cause marketing, often as part of a capped percentage of sales of special “Breast Cancer Awareness” editions of products. Additionally, Komen is famous for their “Run…

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3 Responses to “Breast Cancer Awareness Month Is A Marketing Scam”

  1. Dana Says:

    Great article. Have you read I Blame the Patriarchy’s take? Twisty’s prose is always an inspiring and often hilarious. I love y

    • Dana Says:

      oops. …your insights into marketing, a far cry from the work I did back in the 90s! Keep on, don’t let the bastards get you, and please do share on that bachelorette party. Best

  2. Dawn Says:

    Awesome piece, Parker. I feel compelled to add two thoughts. The decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood was short-lived, after a massive outcry of protest. Nancy Brinker was forced out and the funding restored, although the negative publicity hurt the Komen foundation considerably. (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/susan-g-komen-names-new-ceo/2013/06/17/8fedc556-d778-11e2-9df4-895344c13c30_story.html).

    The only other point I want to make is to point out that men, yes, men get breast cancer, too. One man in Florida is lucky that Komen is still around; he has no health insurance and was repeatedly turned away in his attempt to get a mammogram because of his gender. (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2451436/Man-painful-lump-size-golf-ball-breast-denied-access-mammogram-man.html).

    In all, though, well argued points and I wish people would support important causes like fighting cancer 365 days a year and not just 30.


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