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10/14/13

Pretty in Pink: Commercialism can't be argued when it comes from the heart

The fight against breast cancer is slowly becoming incredibly one sided.
That's because companies and organizations from around the world partner up with various breast cancer awareness groups to raise money and pay homage to the brave women who battle this disease on a daily basis.
October resides as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which has evolved into a true spectacle of activities and events that include walks, runs and a slew of pink everything that makes the 31 days of this particular month a reminder that breast cancer exists, but also is one of the more treatable and preventable forms of cancer in women.
The outpouring of support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is truly a marvelous marvel, a union of regular people, performers and industries alike coming together out of sheer support in the hopes of salvation.
It's hard to argue with the level of generosity perpetuated throughout the month of October as it relates to National Breast Cancer Month, but some question whether this is commercialism at work, more so than the actual act of kindness.

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Those pundits point toward the obligatory sales of pink paraphernalia as grounds for this passionate plea that suggests this is mass marketing at its finest.
That observation is somewhat skewed, and is relatively topical and short sighted when you consider a few of the companies involved and just how that pink merchandise relates to their bottom line. A company like World Wrestling Entertainment is a billion dollar sports and entertainment company. They don't need to create pink T-shirts for their favorite superstars to wear on Monday nights in front of a viewing audience that peaks at four million people.
And they certainly don't have to donate 20% of the sales directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
But they do. Not because they have to but rather it is a want and desire to not make money but rather raise money and awareness about breast cancer.
The same could be said for countless other companies who deal directly in pink for the month of October. Dooney & Bourke carry a tremendous amount of clout as far as leather accessories and handbags but, in October, they're touting a tote that teams up with the the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; $5 for every pink tote sold in October goes directly to the research efforts.
Other large scale companies rank as admirable for their contributions as well, none more openly supportive than ULTA and Kohls.
ULTA is a cosmetic powerhouse but their inventory pales in comparison to their passion for breast cancer awareness; they've teamed up with the same foundation as Dooney & Bourke, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and are taking $10 donations for a cut, shampoo and hair style as part of an October 13 event, where all proceeds go to the foundation.
Kohls also is all in as far as donating 100% of its profit from its Tek Gear collection to breast cancer research and awareness.
All of the these aforementioned retailers have their hearts in the right place when it comes to cultivating a line of pink clothing or merchandise. Naturally, there is some level of marketing involved but that's not the primary goal, nor is it ever brought to the forefront.
These organizations are using their marquee names and notoriety to tackle a bigger issue than sales revenue: helping raise money and a consciousness about breast cancer on every level possible. Companies like ULTA, WWE, Kohls and Dooney & Bourke don't embrace the publicity they get for their charitable work when it comes to breast cancer. They deflect any and all praise of sorts and put the spotlight squarely on the gallant groups of women battling breast cancer and the men and women who work tirelessly for the foundations, causes and charitable groups fighting the good fight.
At the end of October, no company is interested in counting dollars or cents but instead spend every second of those 31 days heaping awareness on prevention and research for breast cancer, highlighted by the much deserved adulation for those whose lives are consumed daily with fighting and struggling to cope with and survive this disease.

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