A Growing Disenchantment With October ‘Pinkification’

“A Growing Disenchantment With October ‘Pinkification,’” by Gina Kolata, The New York Times, Oct. 30, 2015.

The White House went pink this month, awash for a night in rose-colored light. Delta Air Lines painted a huge pink ribbon on one of its planes, dressed flight attendants in pink and has been selling pink lemonade to passengers. Police departments started using pink handcuffs. Ford is selling “pink warrior” car decals. Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering free shipping on pink products including football cleats and batting gloves. Its slogan: “Sport your support. Together we’ll turn the sports world pink.”

Breast cancer awareness, critics charge, has become a sort of feel-good catchall, associated with screening and early detection, and the ubiquitous pink a marketing opportunity for companies of all types.

Certainly some organizations that receive money from pink campaigns spend at least part of it on research, but the campaigns have rarely made science their main focus. And how much of the money from pink products goes to any breast cancer cause at all is also unclear. In addition, some groups have a broad definition of awareness, and the message has not always been consistent.

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