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Businesses 'Pinkwash' donations into profit | Business

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Businesses 'Pinkwash' donations into profit
Business, News
Businesses 'Pinkwash' donations into profit

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Every October, billions of dollars are donated towards awareness and research for breast cancer, but not every pink product that is purchased benefits the cause.

Last year, Business Insider found that only 8 percent of NFL pink merchandise proceeds went towards research with 88 percent going towards the corporations that made them.

"Each year, the public is spending billions of dollars on pink ribbon products. It's working for companies, it's not working for women," Karuna Jaggar said, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, a California-based advocacy group trying to bring awareness to pin-ribbon marketing known as 'pinkwashing'. "Research shows that if you put a pink ribbon on a product a company will sell more of them. I think what's happening is that companies are exploiting the public's good will."

Companies aren't regulated by standards that say how much money has to go to a charity, it's all dictated by the seller, who sometimes will cap donations when it reaches a certain size or date, meaning anything purchased afterwards is going straight into their pockets.

"You give your money in good faith and you think it's going directly to help a person or help a cause," said Keri Griffin, whose aunt had breast cancer. "I would like to see way more of the money go to cancer research and to people who have cancer."

And because there are no regulations companies don't have to report how they allocate money meaning sometimes there aren't even records of it. So next time you're out remember to "think before you pink."

"[Some marketing] is promoting empty awareness," Jaggar continued. "We don't need more awareness we have plenty of awareness. What we need is some real action."

Breast Cancer Action adds sometimes companies will advertise awareness on products that have known carcinogens in them.

Breast Cancer Action says if you plan on buying pink ribbon products ask some simple questions including where does the money go to, and how much is actually donated.

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