Pinked Out?

Mae West famously said that “too much of a good thing is... wonderful.” But is it?

A female friend forwarded me a recent ‘moms’ e-newsletter she got about a week ago. It had the expected content but the bottom was lined with four products ‘for the cure;’ shower gel for the cure, a CD with Amy Grant for the cure, fantasy bubble bath for the cure, and a sketchbook for the cure. All offering ‘100 percent of the net proceeds’ for breast cancer research.

She made the point that now, near the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she’s a little ‘pinked out.’ I can see her point.

In magazines, with their long calendars, the editorial and the advertising for Breast Cancer Awareness Month might start in September or even August. The last notices of breast cancer awareness might appear in November. It’s less true of the electronic media like TV or the Internet, but still that’s as many as four months of pink ribbons.

In that time there’s hundreds of events, thousands of pink themed cause-marketed products, and millions of consumer impressions. All made possible, as I’ve pointed out before, by the open-source nature of the pink ribbon; it’s all grown so big precisely because no one owns the pink ribbon or the month.

But that also means there’s no one to control the momentum or pull back on the reins if it gets to be too much. No one, that is, but the consumer.

I’ve posted a poll up on the right to gauge your opinion and I hope you’ll vote. It will stay up until Nov. 1.

Let me declare my neutrality on the issue and my bona fides. My mother fought and survived breast cancer. And as a marketer and cause marketer I hold in immense regard what could be called the ‘Pink Ribbon Brigade;’ Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; and all their sister organizations.

It’s a staggering what they’ve accomplished. But the question is, has it become too much of a good thing? Or is it still wonderful?

(Tip of the hat to Kate L.)

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