Pink Ribbons Should Mean Donations!

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Sponsor: The Breast Cancer Site

Breast Cancer Awareness shouldn't be a marketing ploy. Tell the FTC to require pink ribbon products donate to charity!


Every October, we see it: products branded with pink ribbons or color schemes that claim to be "supporting the cause" or "raising awareness."

But did you know the presence of a pink ribbon on merchandise does not guarantee a portion of the proceeds will go to breast cancer research or charities?

The imagery of breast cancer's pink ribbon is not trademarked, which means any company can use it for whatever they wish. This means every October, countless companies use "breast cancer awareness" as a marketing ploy to sell pink products. Some companies will make a flat donation regardless of how much or little the product sells. Others will donate a portion of the proceeds of pink ribbon merchandise sales up to a certain dollar amount while keeping the public in the dark about the overall progress towards that goal. Some companies splash pink and the pink ribbon on products and then donate nothing at all.

Clearly, something needs to change. When people purchase pink ribbon products, breast cancer charities and research should benefit. Selling pink ribbon merchandise solely to "raise awareness" should not be acceptable business practice. We are long past the need for awareness alone. What we really need is action to end this devastating disease forever, and that can't be done without proper funding of the groups on breast cancer's frontlines.

Call on the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection to create regulations that require pink ribbon-themed merchandise to give a portion of their proceeds of each themed item to a nonprofit organization that either supports cancer fighters, survivors, and their families, or goes directly to funding research to beat breast cancer once and for all.

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The Petition:

To the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection:

I am writing to you to draw your attention to a deplorable business practice that goes unchecked each October: the exploitation of pink ribbon themed merchandise all for the sake of raising "awareness" for breast cancer.

We are long past the need for awareness alone. What we really need is action to end this devastating disease forever, and that can't be done without proper funding of the groups on breast cancer's frontlines.

This is why I am writing to request the FTC enact strict guidelines which prevent companies from using the pink ribbon as a marketing strategy to sell more merchandise. As regulations currently stand, any company can use it for whatever they wish. This means every October, countless companies use "breast cancer awareness" as a marketing ploy to sell pink products. Some companies will make a flat donation regardless of how much or little the product sells. Others will donate a portion of the proceeds of pink ribbon merchandise sales up to a certain dollar amount while keeping the public in the dark about the overall progress towards that goal. Some companies splash pink and the pink ribbon on products and then donate nothing at all.

Many consumers believe they are supporting breast cancer charities why they buy pink products. Oftentimes, however, this is not the case. Selling pink ribbon merchandise solely to "raise awareness" should not be acceptable business practice.

Please create regulations that require pink ribbon-themed merchandise to give a portion of their proceeds of each themed item to a nonprofit organization that either supports cancer fighters, survivors, and their families, or goes directly to funding research to beat breast cancer once and for all.

Thank you,

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