The Power of Pink: Cause-Related Marketing and the Impact on Breast Cancer
Jennifer A. Harvey
Department of Radiology
Michal Ann Strahilevitz
Journal of American College of Radiology, Vol. 6, pp. 26-32, 2009
The pink ribbon is one of the most widely recognized symbols in the United States. It can symbolize strength, hope, responsibility, empathy, and permission to discuss breast cancer, though not all associations are uniformly positive. Cause-related marketing is an agreement between nonprofit and for-profit organizations to promote a product that provides benefit for the cause through increasing awareness and financial contributions from sales. For-profit organizations benefit through the association of the positive ideology of the pink ribbon. The relationship between the organizations should be mutually beneficial; the percentage of funds donated should be reasonable, and the organizations that benefit should be respected institutions. Many breast cancer organizations have obtained significant benefit from corporate partnerships in cause-related marketing. Certainly, breast cancer awareness is much stronger now than 15 years ago. However, not all products are appropriate for promotion, particularly products that may increase the risk for breast cancer, such as alcohol. No corporation is licensed to have exclusive use of the pink ribbon symbol, leaving it open to potential abuse. Backlash by consumers has raised awareness of the misuse of the pink ribbon and cause related marketing. As marketing becomes more global, the impact of the pink ribbon in the third world may spur open dialogue and reduce the taboo associated with breast cancer observed in some cultures.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: Marketing, consumerism, breast cancer, research funding
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37, M39
Date posted: December 19, 2010
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