Thursday, August 16, 2012

RIBBON REGULATION -- IS IT TIME ?

I hate to even suggest what is about to come out of my mouth.  I may actually see the words in a comic bubble above my own head (out of body-ish experience).  I might be having an actual out of body experience where I am looking down at ME asking, "Who the hell is that idiot?"  It might be my shrinking brain.  Perhaps all logic has left my head via my ears as the white matter, gray matter, all matter spilled out on to the keyboard upon which I type.

The Daily BEAST..... Here's their take on The Ribbon.  Broken record... here we go again... but NOT.  I think it's time for.... oh my jeezzzzz.... Don't.Say.It....

DON'T....  Well, it can't be helped, it's likely time.....

*Blurts out*

Pink Ribbon Regulation.

(Thanks to my misfiring brain for blurting before thinking.....)

It's out there now.... and "out there" is on display for us to see.  Within weeks, we will be innundated with the Pre-October extravaganzas.  We will start to see things like this:

Not for nothing..... this has the appearance of an orgy.  Arms, hands, lips.  This isn't awareness.  This is ONCE AGAIN, sexualizing a disease.  Is this what breast cancer looks like to any of you that are intimately familiar with the disease?  Truthfully, do these women look like any NORMAL woman.  Forget about breast cancer... these are not your average women.  On any part of the planet.  


Or.... how about putting an ad like THIS in South Africa where 79.2% of the entire population is black.  More than 65% of the population are female.  Only 10% of the population has health insurance.  Of that 10% with health insurance, only 2% of those are black.  I'm not trying to make a race issue here, I'm merely sharing what was told to me by my dedicated friend Kwanele, a black woman from South Africa who is passionate about seeing change in her country.  She attended NBCC.  She is outraged by this Playtex ad.  Why?  She finds it insulting that in a country where the majority of the population are women of color, why is a blonde, white woman in this ad??  And, she asks, after Playtex funds the screening to find the cancer, who is providing the necessary care to treat those who are diagnosed.  Good.Damn.Question.

My point?  The problem is global.  And it's out of control.  Remember Grazia, my Italian friend who is living in the UK..... She's outraged, too.  Did you see the video... that was another "hot mess" and it is still in the blog post from Grazia.

The ribbon is going to be here for a long time.  We are climbing a steep mountain.  It might be time for us to demand some ground rules.  A set of UNIFORM guidelines.  How's this for starters?  Where there is a ribbon and a company who stands to profit by having their name displayed in the same ad, the company is FORCED to clearly state their mission and their intention.

The Estee Lauder ad offends me on many levels.  Can you figure out the purpose of that ad?  Me either.  What precisely does "Playtex supports CAN/SA" mean?  Obviously, I'm using this to highlight a point.  I don't have a voice in South African politics but I can support my friend who is trying to have her voice heard.

It's time for us to demand... yes, DEMAND full transparency.  If a for-profit entity runs an ad with a ribbon, their intent should be clear.  If their intent is to "raise awareness" I call Bullshit.  The awareness ship has sailed.  If the company is simply jumping on the pink band-wagon to tug on our emotions, they should be stopped.  If they are funding something, full disclosure should be forced upon anyone utilizing the ribbon.  Just like the ingredient labels on our food packages and the nutrition content that is now also mandatory, we need a "content label" affixed to every single thing that dons a ribbon.

I'm not big on government intervention but this situation has gotten so far out of control, it seems to me the consumers need to be protected.  Much of what goes on is false advertising and would not be tolerated under the marketing laws. Cause marketing has no rules.  No regulations.  No uniform set of guidelines regarding disclosure.

This is big business and there are billions of dollars at stake.  No more misleading ads.  It's time to hold everyone accountable.  THEN we will be able to see which companies are lending their name to the ribbon solely for their own profit and which companies are diligently raising funds and filling the coffers of organizations that are worthy of the money WE are spending on their ribbon products.

It's a start and we have to start somewhere.  All this chatter is making my head spin.  I need to see some suggestions. Some action.  Some ideas.  Something to change the conversation.  

6 comments:

  1. Wishful thinking if we were living on another planet that wasn't so preoccupied by the almighty dollars that cheap advertising draws.
    These types of ads are what attracts people into the rush to help Breast Cancer however these same people are ill informed, uneducated when it comes to being a little more sensitive to what OUR needs actually are. To a degree I do have to put the onus on Joe & Jane consummer, as helpful they may presume to be not everyone reads the fine print to how dollars are actually being allocated. Buying pink does not give assurances that it will even go towards research.. Of course this is a global problem the blonde ad in S/A is a perfect example.. Or in the fundraising ideas oof labeling and sexualizing cup cakes all in the name of Fund Raising for Breast cancer. Bah Humbug! , Not just the fact that Breast Cancer statistics are still over the top. We have taken a few significant steps in the right direction however there are more that definitely are out of touch, it's all about dollars , splash pink on a condom and someone may actually believe it might cure Breast Cancer. the absurdity of advertisement sends out those subliminal messages to buy and think Pink..... After all October is just around the corner!! it is for us after all. We the ungrateful bitches who spend more time complaing than appreciating.....
    (sorry I deleted the first posted comment. i have major chemo brain today)

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    1. Alli...
      I love you... the BEST part of you reply... "We are the ungrateful bitches who spend more time complaining...." You are SO RIGHT... and WE both KNOW those who point fingers at us for complaining are (for the most part) NOT breast cancer patients. Most just "have someone very close to them" ... Guess EFFIN' what. I have someone VERY CLOSE to me, too. My Mom.

      She was a breast cancer patient for NINETEEN years before my diagnosis. I have the street cred as they like to say. I DO know the difference between having someone close and BEING that someone.

      I dare anyone to tell me they get it "by relationship" ... either you are in.. or not.. and unless you are.. you Do NOT GET IT....

      That's not bitter and angry talking, either... that's just the truth..... The ones who are TRULY empathetic would never defend something so vehemently without having an honest conversation with their "person" ......

      As usual... you make me smile because I love to read your comments!

      xoxox

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  2. Thanks to "Think Before You Pink" I am a pain in the ass about pink ribbon stuff. Bobbi Brown offered special pink cosmetics with 20% going to research, but in the fine print they were donating "up to $20,000." So, when did they reach their limit? Did they stop selling the pink shit when they did? Of course not. I interrogate etsy sellers who make pick stuff for "awareness" as well as the cling car ribbons they sell in the supermarket who don't donate to anybody.

    We have to make sure we know exactly where the money is going and how much of it before we support any business waving the pink ribbon. Even Ford is problematic since the carcinogens from car exhaust have been linked to cancer. Always ask and if they don't or can't tell you, don't buy it and don't let your friends buy it either.

    I am not an ungrateful bitch when I challenge companies "pink-washing" and using my disease for profit. Especially not when it's killing me. Donate 20% without a limit? Fine. 100% of profits? Better. But giving to "breast cancer awareness programs?" Bullshit.

    I'm kind of an embarrassing pain in the ass in October, but I'll never stop asking how this or that pink thing helps BC research.

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    1. I started my "pain in the ass" thing NOW. Was in CVS earlier and saw the first bottle of Pantene Shampoo with the stupid ribbon. They are "providing wigs" but I couldn't figure out what the hell that meant. On to the pens, Pilot is donating up to some dumb number through 2013. They don't say they are specifically donating from the purchase of that product but there was only ONE package of THOSE pens still left on the shelf.

      I'm with you on the carcinogens thing, too. But... I won't give up my car so I can't really crucify any of the car manufacturers unless I'm ready to put my feet where my mouth is. And, as far as buying "pink" ... interestingly, Ford has the most transparent campaign. !00% of the profits. They show the dollar amount next to the item. There is no cap. You get to choose which organization gets the donation being made from your purchase. Ford broke ranks with Komen after 18 years and added 3 additional options from which we might choose. All of the car manufacturers are guilty with the exhaust polluting the air. At least Ford is working from both sides. Perfecting Hybrids AND donating billions of dollars over the years for breast cancer. And now, allowing us to decide if we want the money in the hands of Susan Love to finance cutting edge research or organizations to help the underserved or young cancer patients. Komen is still an option, too... hopefully, one that will be chosen the least.

      The bigger issue (for some) with Ford, is their use of the word "warriors" and to be honest, that kind of pisses me off. Can we get beyond the wording and get down to what really matters. Let's save lives FIRST and then worry about the rest of the bullshit....

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  3. I think I'm also a little touchy about Ford because of it's founder and his virulent anti-semitism. You do raise a good point about working both sides with hybrids and supporting Susan Love.

    I don't know what I am, but I'm not a warrior. I've even told my husband that my obituary must never say that I "lost my battle" with cancer.

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    1. My brain isn't altogether that great anymore when it comes to details. Until you reminded me about Ford's views, I had that stored in the "sleeping" part of my brain. I can't blame you one bit for being touchy about that. I have little tolerance for intolerant people.

      I don't know what I am, either. I just know I am trying very hard to push for the right things for the right reasons. First, LIFE. It upsets me to see people running out of options. The language.....YOU get to decide. I have little patience for people who INSIST we can never use those words. This is the blog of another woman with a Stage IV dx: http://mystage4life.blogspot.com She writes about her feelings about that word. I respect whatever comforts others.

      As for "lost the battle" ..... I agree with you there, too..... Here's something I wrote in January: http://chemo-brain.blogspot.com/2012/01/lingo.html

      I hope this isn't reading like I'm "spineless" or something.... I will take a stand against things that are "concrete" but when it comes to personal choices, I'm all about listening to others, respecting others..... even if I may not agree with them. Except when it comes to those who are using a disease to pad their own wallets at the expense of the lives of others.

      I'm glad you are in my life.

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