Welcome to October, the official
Pink is the new green, and we've seen what happens to that. Green-brag has found its way everywhere. The name for a secondary color has become a primary marketing tool — a badge that purportedly shows that some product or service is tender-minded when it comes to the environment, and therefore the compassionate customer who buys it is helping to save the Earth.
"Green" isn't always what it seems, of course, and "greenwashing" is the neologism to bust bogus environmental-friendliness just as "AstroTurf roots" is for politics, describing a fake grass-roots movement.
There's no absolute green meter of truthfulness, no legal scale for terms like "eco-friendly" or "environmentally sensitive," so ad copywriters can throw around "green" pretty much as they like, to make as much green as possible. Forbes, the business bible, has warned about greenwashing that can come back to bite consumers when building and product standards demand real green, not the faux kind.
Different cause, different color, same technique — the world of breast cancer causes is awash in pinkwashing. Bloggers and websites follow the money trail to find out how "pink" some product's promises are: Does it really donate any significant profits to breast cancer research or treatment? Or is the pink just a feel-good marketing tool whose real "cause" is a corporate bottom line? What does it really mean, that anodyne marketing phrase, "A portion of the proceeds from this product will be donated to help fight breast cancer"?
For about five years, NFL players have taken to the greensward wearing pink breast cancer awareness ribbons, for the benefit of the
This month, the breast cancer activist site www.bcaction.org is taking its challenges one step further than questioning the value of selling self-styled pink products. The group wants to suss out any carcinogens in pink-ribbon products, substances that can actually contribute to potential breast cancers, and to "ban the toxins that make us sick in the first place." It wants the nearly 40-year-old Toxic Control Substances Act updated, and it's putting out the word about the possible dangers of pink-ribbon products and promotions.
Among them, according to the website Jezebel, are cosmetics with chemicals linked to cancer. Breast Cancer Action cited “Promise Me,” a since-reformulated fragrance from the
Cleaning products to cars — the message is that just because they promote pink causes doesn’t mean they’re promoting consumers’ health. But without updating and toughening toxic standards that were put into law the same year
I don't know how Paramount would like this, but someone needs to recruit the original "Pink Thinker" — Kay Thompson's fashion editor character and her "Think Pink" number in the 1957 Audrey Hepburn film "Funny Face." It didn't connect to cancer, of course, but it saw the whole pink marketing picture decades before its time.