Pink Think

Don’t miss “Sick of Pink” in Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine.


This month, like every October, a sea of pink ribbons washes over products from sneakers to snacks. While the effort raises research dollars, it leaves some breast cancer survivors feeling that companies are profiting from their pain.

Exhibit A:

Bloomingdale’s Little Pink Book campaign.

The retail chain pledges to donate $1 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation  (BCRF) for every new email address it collects, and half the $12 cost of every Big Pink Umbrella it sells this month. Not to mention all of the $15 fee for a Bloomingdale’s Insider Card.

That card – as a full-page newspaper ad in the Boston Globe (and elsewhere, no doubt) says – will in turn get you a Give Pink, Get More Card worth up to $250* depending on how much dough you drop at your local Bloomingdale’s.

(Oh yes, the asterisk: “You must make at least $250 in ‘Net Purchases’ of ‘Eligible Merchandise’ to receive a GIVE PINK, GET MORE Card.”)

No indication of what – if any – percentage of pink-pumped-up “Net Purchases” might go to the fight against breast cancer.

Your guess is as good as zero.

Exhibit ?:

The Brookline Tab published this week’s edition on pink newsprint. It’s Page One explanation of “Why we’re pink:”

So what’s with the pink newspaper?

The Brookline TAB and all other GateHouse newspapers in Massachusetts are painting the town pink this week in support of the American Cancer Society and its efforts to increase awarenes during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In this issue, you will find stories about the state of research and treatment for breast cancer, as well as profiles of breast cancer survivors.

As well as a feature headlined Garden Variety profiling “longtime figures in Brookline’s art scene” Mim and Barney Berliner, whose backyard art gallery is entirely obscured by the pink newsprint.

You can bet the Berliners are sick of pink.

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