by Susan Bach, Director of Communications, Wisconsin BBB
If you’re like me, you’ve been watching a lot of football lately and have noticed all of the pink gloves, cleats and other accessories that NFL players have been wearing in October to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s hard NOT to notice when a 300-pound football player is wearing hot pink shoes! I applaud the NFL, and hope it makes a lot of money when it auctions off those items – since I know that all of the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
But what about the other pink items that I can purchase – supposedly to benefit breast cancer? At my local shopping center, I can buy a pink balloon, a pink hairbrush, a pink box of crackers, a pink hairdryer, a pink phone case, a pink candy bar, or a pink t-shirt. I can’t, however, find any specific information on these products that tells me if, in fact, part of my purchase goes to a breast cancer charity and which charity that might be.
The flood of pink products can only be attributed to more and more manufacturers realizing the sales power of pink products. Some products are genuine, cause-related marketing promotions; a win-win for both the charity that receives a portion of the proceeds each time a product is sold, and the business that increases its product sales. Unfortunately, other pink products are fakes whose only intention is to line the pockets of greedy businesses capitalizing on people’s generosity.
Before you buy a pink product, make sure you thoroughly inspect it to make sure that you’re buying the product for all the right reasons. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which charity does this product support? Do I support the charity’s mission and believe in its programs?
- How is the charity receiving the contribution? Will simply purchasing the product result in a contribution to the charity or will I need to do other “homework” to make sure the contribution is received?
- How much of the purchase price is being donated to the charity?
- Is there a limit on the amount of money the company will donate to the charity? Has the company reached that goal?
- Can I make a bigger impact by donating directly to the charity?
For more consumer information, go to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau’s website at www.wisconsin.bbb.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WisconsinBBB or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WisconsinBBB.