These Are the Good Old Days

I was driving to the mall the other day and noticed a large poster for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the window of Payless Shoe Source, which sells pink ribbon brooches, wristbands and charms to benefit Komen.

Later when I was online checking my email I got a notice from listing a number of pink items for sale supporting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

I got home that night and I started to pay my phone bill and out dropped the statement stuffer on the left. Qwest, my landline provider, and Sanyo will donate 10 percent of the sales price of their pink Katana II handset to Susan G. Komen when also you also activate Qwest service. A $50,000 minimum donation is guaranteed.

All in one day.

The many interconnected tendrils all feeding into Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a testament to the appeal of finding a cure for breast cancer and to the skill and hard work of the staff at Susan G. Komen, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the others.

But as big and impressive as they are, really well-executed efforts like these are just the tip of the iceberg for cause-related marketing these days.

I’m not saying it can’t get better. Or that cause-related marketing is headed for some kind of decline.

I am saying that Carly Simon’s song Anticipation which opens with the lyrics “we can never know about the days to come’ and ends with, ‘cause these are the good old days,” is perfect description of the state of cause-related marketing in the United States today.

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