Pink ribbon overkill: Are companies exploiting breast cancer campaigns?


Walk into almost any store this month, and you'll be hit with a wash of pink products -- pink clogs, pink vegetable peelers, pink cleaning products, even pink food -- sold in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Consumers, feeling as if they're participating in the effort to find a cure for the disease, are snapping up pink-tinged everything. And, as a result, nearly all big consumer-products companies are tacking pink ribbons onto their products.

Yet not everything is coming up roses. Some breast-cancer advocates, patients and survivors are questioning whether the pink-ribbon movement has gone too far, with companies seeking higher sales from cause-related packaging without pledging much -- if anything -- in return. It's left up to shoppers to read the labels on pink-packaged products and determine whether their purchase will actually help a breast-cancer charity or foundation, they say.