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Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month No Longer Inviolable for Other Cause Marketers?

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month... the 25th anniversary!... and stores and the media are flooded with cause marketing for breast cancer research, raising the question: is cause marketing possible for non-breast cancer charities?

It seems to me that other cause campaigns are chipping away at the edges of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here are a handful of recent examples, all featuring celebrities as it turns out:

Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund this fall when you send a virtual cake to someone. That’s my cake to the left in the OCRF’s trademark turquoise. Frankly the virtual cake didn’t exactly track for me. That is, other than the fact that you can bake a cake in an Electrolux oven, it wasn’t clear to me what one thing had to do with another. As usual, daytime TV diva Kelly Ripa lent her promotional support.

Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter headlined efforts for the UN designated World Habitat Day on Monday, October 4. In conjunction with other volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, the Carters helped build, rebuild or improve 86 homes in six cities in the United States: Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota and Birmingham, Alabama.

Saturday, October 2 was LIVESTRONG Day in Times Square in New York City benefiting Lance Armstong’s anti-cancer charity by the same name and sponsored by RadioShack. The campaign, which I profiled here, offered $1 to LIVESTRONG any time someone badged their Twitter or Facebook picture with the number 28 during the 24 hours of LIVESTRONG Day. Twenty-eight million people worldwide have cancer. Now LIVESTRONG is a cancer charity, but not specifically a breast cancer charity.

Can we conclude that October is open to other cause marketers? That may be saying too much. But I think we can conclude that increasingly non breast cancer cause marketers no longer see National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as inviolable.


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