Profits heaping from pink products

Consumers must consider where their money is actually going.

As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close and the pink ribbon products begin to dwindle in number on store shelves, we are forced to question whether those companies that market breast cancer awareness products are concerned about more than making a profit while upping their image. The ongoing trend of companies making money off of good causes begs to be addressed, and every consumer needs to equip themselves with certain tools to ensure their money is going where they think it is.

Pink products for breast cancer support are extremely popular for many reasons. The little pink ribbon can be placed on any type of product, from those people need on a day-to-day basis like paper towels, to luxury goods like Cartier watches or cars. The symbol is immediately recognizable, as most people have been close to someone who has dealt with the disease. Those who feel they cannot give the amount of money that actual charities or research foundations could use find the pink products to be an easy way to give what they can to a good cause.

While this is true, consumers must ask how much money is actually being donated in comparison to the price of the good. In many cases, companies are giving as little as 5 percent and are raking in the rest. In other cases companies set limits on their maximum donation. For example, Cartier promoted a watch that sold for around $3,500, but capped their maximum donation at $30,000 – all sales beyond the first 10 watches were complete profit. Also, many companies who market pink products might be contributing to possible causes of the disease (chemicals in cosmetics for example).

Although it is sad that there are so many companies that profit immensely from cause campaigns, the process at least brings awareness to the issue. Giving directly to research foundations is the better option, but if a person is going to purchase a product anyway, buying the brand sporting the pink ribbon makes sense.