Category Archives: marketing

Will you do that? Yes, anything for a cause!

imagesWhen the ice bucket challenge went viral, I rolled my eyes.  And you know by the title of this blog and by some of my earlier posts, I am not fond of the way that breast cancer is marketed either.

Some charities simply take things too far. Perhaps the most annoying is the Keep a Breast Foundation’s boobie campaign. Sigh. I hate to come down hard on these creative, well-meaning people who strive to educate and stop breast cancer in its tracks, but I have to say, I am appalled that this female body part is referenced by such an obnoxious term, and I am not the only one who feels this way.  In fact, a school district attempted to ban the I Love Boobies bracelet, and others have blogged about the offensive nature of this organization’s focus.

It is also important to note that the pink campaigns exclude men, and men get breast cancer too. This accentuates the fact that the boobie campaign targets women in a sexist manner by exploiting a feature with which the western world is clearly obsessed: women’s breasts.

This unnecessary focus inspired a porn business to take advantage of the trend by holding a boobie campaign of its own. The business sold sexy photos for breast cancer research, but when the pornographers tried to donate the money they raised, Susan G. Komen for the Cure refused to take it. Bravo!

Still, many people are on board with the idea that if it is for charity, anything goes, but I don’t like ice buckets and boobies shoved in my face. You may think it is not a big deal.  After all, if a marketing campaign is in support of a good cause, can that lead to harm? I think it can.

Not only is the focus offensive, it misses the point. The goal is optimal health and wellness, not to hang on to a body part at all costs. And breast self-exam –something these organizations are presumably promoting– has come into question as being more harmful than valuable. That feeling your breasts is a simple way to prevent cancer might send the wrong message. Nothing about cancer prevention is simple.  It is replete with controversy, choices, and research, and people ought to be more thoughtful about these things.

I do believe that the people behind the campaign are sincere, and I support charitable giving, but I think in a good society we can do better than to cater to the lowest common denominator. The campaigns might appeal to the JackAss fan, but is that truly the target audience? Not only do the boobie and tata campaigns not serve the organizations well, they are an affront to all women who have had mastectomies. These “genius” campaigns offend the very women the organizations claim they are trying to help.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where TMZ is mainstream, and it is okay to degrade and mock other people. In fact, it’s sport in America, and it makes money, but I think it takes a certain kind of moxie to do it when women’s lives are at stake. Yes, I believe a line was crossed here, and ignorance is no excuse.

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