As hundreds of Tampa Bay area residents are preparing for the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3-day walk in October, a flurry of negative attention has shrouded the Komen organization for its recent public decision to cancel its financial support of Planned Parenthood and then subsequently back step to rescind that decision.
Now, Komen will have an entirely different issue to address as veteran Canadian film maker Lea Pool releases ”Pink Ribbons, Inc.” which investigates the alleged hypocrisy surrounding the entire industry of so-called ‘disease marketing’ with the major focus on the ”Pink Ribbon” marketing machine known as the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The expose is the result of six years of planning and three years of investigative research looking into what has become a high-energy, emotion grabbing industry. Research revealed in the film shows that some corporations deliberately exploit the ‘Pink Ribbon’ marketing strategy to boost sales of products and services and yet donate little or none of the actual profits to fund cancer research.
Further, the film points out that the central focus of ’cause marketers’ such as with the ‘Pink Ribbon’ campaigns, is to solely raise money, not on prevention.
In fact, a quick check of the local Tampa Bay area Susan G. Komen website, http://www.the3day.org, I couldn’t find one single noticeable link to information about how to do a self-check for breast cancer, prevention discussions, or even anything NOT related to raising money. I saw, “Donate”, “Shop”, “Training & Fundraising”, “Fundraising made easy”, “Register Today and get $25 off”, and the picture of a beautiful young lady with “survivor” painted on her face in pink, while being kissed on her near bald head by a man. Keep in mind, that this is the main website that local Komen marketing directs Tampa Bay area residents to visit in radio advertisements and other mass marketing efforts.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, Komen has already started its push for the annual 3-day walk, set to occur in October with a significant advertising push and in the month of January has spent upwards of $60,000 in the local market on radio advertising alone according to industry estimates. The advertising messages are intended to encourage participation in the coming 3-day walk and directs listeners straight to the website mentioned earlier, where the sole focus of the website is raising money. How much money, you ask? Participants are required to raise $2,300 in order to get involved in the 3-day event. According to published information, last years Tampa Bay area 3-day walk raised nearly $4 million, while the national revenues eclipsed $311 million.
So the question is, which is it? Is the Susan G. Komen organization and others like it more interested in raising money than they are in creating awareness and finding a cure?
Be sure to watch the trailer for Lea Pool’s film ‘Pink Ribbons Inc.’ and start to inform yourself. There has been no date announced as to when the film will be released in the United States, however, I am sure that will follow soon.