Sunday, April 1, 2012


I'm still trying to figure this thing out.  I know I blogged about this event the end of February, but I am still trying to hunt down some press from a past event......  Speed dating for The Pink Ribbon.  After seeing Pink Ribbons Inc, this "event" is even more distressing today then when I first read about it.

Seriously?  I MUST call Bullshit on this one.  I'm a tad nauseated by the whole thing.

"Undivided attention of the top editors looking for PINK BREAST CANCER PRODUCTS ALL IN ONE DAY."

I have a few questions.
  • The cost to participate is $2500.00.  Is any of THAT money being donated ANYWHERE or is this an event to take cause marketing and make money on marketing for cause marketing.  Kind of a double insult?
  • All products must financially support breast cancer awareness, treatment or research.  To that, I'd like to ask, with my newly acquired understanding of the sheer stupidity of some (most? all?) of the this cause marketing and pinkwashing, how transparent must these organizations be in disclosing their financial support?  Are they maxing out at $10,000?  Are they promoting products containing possible carcinogens?  Are these products "acceptable" for this event?
  • Is it REALLY necessary to use pink frying pans and a 1950's June Cleaver-ish pink apron to demonstrate product ideas.  For me, nothing highlights the reality of altered bodies and fried brains than pans in which to fry said brains and a pink apron to cover the mess.
I'm starting to get really really REALLY pissed off at the ever increasing ways people are finding to make money by raping the Pink Ribbon.  Women are dying.  Men, too.  Why is this okay?  I'd really like an answer.  I'd really like to see some outrage.  I can't be the only one who finds this exceptionally distasteful.  To whom might I write?  Which editors will be attending? What media outlets?  I'd like to be sure to let everyone know which organizations are continuing to help fuel this pink circus so we might boycott their magazines or TV shows or whatEVER.  I'm lacing up my pink boxing gloves for this one.  And then, I'm tossing the gloves into the time capsule.  It's insulting.

Only 18 BRANDS will be selected to participate.  Come early to assure your spot.  And again, may I remind the brains behind these operations.  We are NOT a brand.  We are not a marketable commodity.  We are women who had the misfortune of developing breast cancer through NO FAULT of our own.  And you are looking to profit because of our misfortune?  How about this:  Think Before You Pink.  That would be a great start.

Join us for the most unique kind of media event...speed pitching™

Where else can you get the undivided attention 
of the top editors & producers looking for
pink breast cancer products all in one day?

No place. This is it.

Only 18 brands will be selected to participate.
Submit your product for consideration before it's too late.

For more information about our events visit us at

Here's how it works.   
You get two fast-paced, media-packed 90-minute sessions where you will move through the room pitching your product face-to -face to individuamedia representatives.  
You will rotate every 5 minutes from media table to media table.  
No other  media event is designed to give every brand this one-on-one pitchingexperience.
No distractions, no crowds, no desperate  attempts  to get the media to stop at your booth. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to impress top media outlets for their product review editorials.
All  you need to  bring is one sample to demonstrate, because the media will take home a fantastic, pre-prepared tote bag with your product and product literature.
 Pink Ribbon
All products must financially support breast cancer awareness, treatment or research. Please submit a statement as to how your product complies.
We are looking for products from every category:
  • Fashion & Accessories    
  • Health & Fitness
  • Tech & Gadgets
  • Home & Garden
  • Kitchen & Food
  • And more! 

Cost to participate:  $2,500
Exhibitors will receive a gift card for the Hilton Marketplace restaurant for breakfast or lunch on the day of the event.

Refund & Cancellation Policy:
Registration Fees & Payments: Registration fees must be paid in full upon selection. Exhibitor fee includes participating in the event.  The exhibitor fee does not cover other expenses, including but not limited to shipping, travel, Internet access, or equipment rentals.
Withdrawals & Refunds: Due to the need for brand and product diversity, once an exhibitor registers other brands are turned away, therefore refunds are not given for withdrawals from the event. 

Event Cancellation: Should the event be cancelled due to circumstances beyond the control of New Product Events, including, but not limited to, labor strikes, terrorism, earthquakes, fire, and weather conditions, exhibitors will be refunded 50% of the registration fee.

For circumstances outside of those listed above, New Product Events reserves the right to cancel any event at any time prior to the event. Should New Product Events cancel an event, a full refund will be made to the exhibitors for the amount paid to New Product Events at the time of the cancellation.  Media outlets mentioned as part of the media panel are based on firm commitments on behalf of the media attendees.  New Product Events reserves the right to replace media attendees as necessary.

Loss, Theft or Damage:
 New Product Events is not liable or responsible for loss, damage or theft of the exhibitor’s products or equipment at the event or in transit.
Register Now!

In keeping with a commitment I made to WEGO Health to post 30 entries in 30 days with the help of a list of prompts, the very first prompt is about a time capsule......  

My time capsule?  A box with covered with pink ribbons.  Inside the box?  My pink ribbon pepper spray, a pink handgun, a few other positively ludicrous items adorned with ribbons, a copy of a lawsuit For The Cure, every blog post written by Rachel Moro, a few of my favorite prior posts, a copy of Gayle Sulik's book Pink Ribbon Blues, the DVD of Pink Ribbons Inc, my mom's treatment records from 1987 and mine from 2006 (zero progress) and THIS blog post.

My fantasy?  When my great grandchildren open the capsule they are bewildered.  I will watch from another dimension as they say, "What are all these pink ribbons?"  and then, "Cancer?  What is CANCER?"  and finally, "What the hell was she so pissed off about?"

Dream until your dreams come true....... Or, more accurately, FIGHT for change and Be the reason those dreams come true.


  1. OMG get a life lady!

  2. I have a life and *part* of my life is devoted to making sure the next tweny five years does not yield the same results as the past 25. My mom watched two daughters make difficult decisions. I want better for my daughter.

  3. Isn't the pink ribbon's purpose to raise awareness about breast cancer? Hasn't all this awareness gotten breast cancer to the forefront of American's minds. Everyone knows what the pink ribbon means. It has been a HUGE success to bring breast cancer awareness into to the collective consciousness. We live in a capitalistic society. If corporations and small businesses have found a way to jump on the band wagon, why do we care? I'll take the spread of pink any way it comes. I have better things to worry about. And bigger problems to solve.

    I think you should take a deep breath, and just realize that we live in a world where we must accept that money comes from business - whether we like it or not. All this energy fighting and hating the pink ribbon capitalists is generating negativity and bad press for our cause. Stop the negativity and focus on positive issues.

    Stop being so "pissed off" and accept this as a fact of life. Next time offer more information, it's hard to tell what this event really is. Must most events charge entrance fees. You don't explain why this is such a horrible event. I'd like more information before you start ranting.

  4. Really anonymous? Bet you never had breast cancer or you'd realize what this blogger is all about - next time, go hang out on some other site. anonymous2

  5. AM, great post, as usual! It is truly disgusting to not only watch "pink" vendors make their money off our disease, but to see a 3rd party leveraging that for $2500 so opportunistically is disgusting! As I said in my NBC interview, I'm so very tired of people making money on the back of my disease, when I know we have no cure and it is likely to kill me.'s a shame you haven't educated yourself about the issues, but I know that so many people are still drinking the "Pink Ribbon Kool-Aid" so you're not alone. You clearly didn't notice, but the author wasn't marketing the event, and so she really had no need to share more information. If you want to know more, I invite you to peruse this blog more deeply, as well as many other blogs that clearly and completely outline the utter lunacy of what has become little more than pink fundraising.

    And finally, AM, kudos to you for posting discenting voices on your blog. When someone else's comments fly in the face of all that we are and all that we believe, it's so hard to honor them, even more so when someone isn't strong enough in their convictions to do more than post as "anonymous."

  6. AnneMarie
    I want you to know that it is because of your blog that I joined the Army of Women. Recently diagnosed with breast cancer and new to the business of it, I share your outrage and revulsion over this event. I have to wonder about Susan G. Komen, the woman who died of breast cancer NOT the organization that bears her name. I wonder what she would say if we told her about all the money and all the pink and that, no, we still we don't know what causes the breast cancer that killed her.
    I'm embarrassed to say that until my own diagnosis, I never thought about breast cancer as politics, as business. How naive I was. I quickly learned that an entire culture has evolved around it. The day I was diagnosed, I was given a bag full of literature about breast cancer, a bag decorated with a really big pink ribbon. Later that day, after we told our 14 year old daughter that I had cancer, she spotted that bag, and I'll never forget what she said, "Seriously, mom, they gave you a cancer goodie bag??" Out of the mouths of babes ....
    I imagine my daughter felt something like the way I'm feeling tonight as I read about this speed pitching of "pink breast cancer products." I am stunned and saddened by how low people have stooped to benefit from a horrible disease. It is, in every sense of the word, diabolical.
    Know I am buoyed by your unflagging advocacy for the work that will determine what causes the disease, the work that will ensure our daughters a future without cancer.

  7. Oh, gawd, AM. This really & truly embodies, in very broad strokes, how pink & the pink ribbon have become nothing more than a brand & a marketing tool, doesn't it? I'm thinking we really need to work up some guerrila snark. And surely, you or I or several other women I could name who've actually been dealing with breast cancer could really use $2500 right about now.

  8. Ann Marie,
    Very interesting discussion here. The comment posted by Anonymous reflects just how much work there is yet to be done. Perhaps the purpose of the pink ribbon at one time was to bring awareness. Well, people are now well aware. In my opinion, its purpose today, more often than not, is as a marketing tool to make money with little regard to the disease it's supposed to represent. Everyone is slapping on a pink ribbon and proclaiming to be a breast cancer supporter when in reality they may be donating nothing or next to nothing toward meaningful action to eradicate this disease. I find it very interesting that the fee for entering this "competition" is $2,500. I think your first question is right on the money, AM. Pun intended. Great post, full of passion. That's why we love your voice.

    And I love Yvonne's daughter's comment. "A cancer goo-die-bag."

  9. Oops. I goofed up that last part. Feel free to delete that...Sorry. I wanted to add - I love Yvonne's daughter's comment, "Seriously, mom, they gave you a cancer goodie bag??" That's one smart girl.

  10. Looks like this company did it too!

  11. Oy, AnneMarie! Ack.... ack..... ack. The term carpetbaggers comes to mind.... opportunism, exploitation and profiteering too.
    I also love the "Seriously, mom, they gave you a cancer goodie bag??" comment.
    Fight on!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. As one of the few men with breast cancer, my experience with the Pink Ribbon Brigade has been nothing short of surreal. First, my "man-o-gram" results were presented to me in a bright pink folder (nice and subtle) and I was recently presented with a card from the Susan G foundation telling me that a donation had been received in my memory (not the donor's mistake).

    Anyway, the illness has also raised my awareness of the obscene commercial exploitation of breast cancer. Cancer isn't a brand, be it pink ribbons or yellow wristbands, but there are plenty of people living the good life off of the generosity of individuals who donate cash and off of the eagerness of corporations to get an edge for their product, be it yogurt, hand guns or pepper spray. It's disgusting.

    Oh, and "Anonymous," you can GFY.

    1. Charles,
      Will it sound trite or condescending if I say I am truly honored that you jumped into this conversation? I hope not because I am sincere and I am very touched. We have very close family friends, husband has breast cancer. (Daughter died in her early 40's. Wife now diagnosed, too) When I was in treatment, he was already in the land of NED. He shared some of his story. Male breast cancer is as downplayed as metastatic BC. There are times I am tempted to change my writing since it's always "women" this and "women" that... and every time I type the words, I am well aware - "men, too" .... maybe wo(men) will be the new method of referring to BC patients.

      Bright pink folder... UGH.... People really do NOT think. Cancer isn't a brand. We should not be commodities for someone's bottom line. Seeing the movie (Pink Ribbons Inc) should be required viewing for any imbecile who thinks there can NEVER BE ENOUGH PINK. Many people who analyze this mess have said buy the pink item if you need it...... don't buy it because you think you are doing something good. We've swung so far in the wrong direction, the only way I can see anything even the slightest shift is by opening my mouth and getting "pissed off" at EVERYTHING and EVERYONE who exploit breast cancer patients.

      We all deserve a better return on our investment. Twenty five years.... and truly NO meaningful progress. Just more people finding more ways to capitalize on pink.

      And, Thank you for responding to anonymous. I appreciate that!! Lots.

  14. Anne Marie,
    No, it does not seem trite or condescending. I appreciate your kind words.


Something to add? Do Share!