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Oh, the Unfortunate Irony

The pink blush of breast cancer awareness colors Kansas City for yet another year. Pink water flows from our iconic fountains; ribbons adorn buildings, bags and T-shirts; and the reddish tint marks goalposts, helmets and shoes.

There’s no shortage of support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month from Kansas Citians, and apparently, no shortage of hypocritical marketing campaigns, either.

Bacon-wrapped breast cancer ribbon

Got Pink? Hypocritical breast cancer marketing campaigns cash in while sacrificing our health.

According to the USA Today, alcoholic drink manufactures have started “pink” campaigns to raise awareness of breast cancer and support research for a cure:

“Mike’s Hard Lemonade now comes in a pink variety. Pink wines sport pink ribbons. And Chambord, which markets pink vodka and liqueurs, urges people to “pink their drink,” saying that “by adding a splash of Chambord to any cocktail, you’re supporting breast cancer awareness year-round.”

All of them have given money to breast cancer causes — and highlight the donations in their ads.”

Considering scientists have implicated alcohol as a cause for the disease, the hypocrisy of the campaign amazes me.

The irony doesn’t stop at alcohol. Even our local Hy-Vee created its own “pink” advertising to garner support—and of course, increase sales. Typically, the company’s red-and-white flier brightly coincides with the company’s logo. However, for the month of October, Hy-Vee replaced its signature red with its softer sister: pink.

At first glance, I considered the marketing tactic fairly noble. The company used its flier—an advertisement that reaches thousands of people in the Kansas City-metro area—to support the fight against breast cancer.

But then I took a closer look.

The flier promoted sales on soda pop, Milk Duds, Reece’s, Hostess snack cakes, Doritos, Frito Lay, Totino’s, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, beer and a mega deal on meat. Only a few whole foods were discounted—and none of them were leafy greens.

Even weight gain as marginal as 10 ­– 20 pounds over an adult’s life can increase cancer risk, yet the company is offering its patrons an inexpensive route to obesity under the guise of breast cancer awareness.

According to recent research, one third of all cancers can be linked to diet, meaning millions of cases could be prevented simply by changing the way we eat.

It would have been more thoughtful had Hy-Vee offered serious discounts on whole foods rather than the processed garbage scientists believe contribute to the epidemic.

Comments 4

  1. I agree whole heartedly. I went to HyVee for their big Sunday sale, and only connected it with breast cancer awareness because the ad was pink. However, like you said, there were no deep discounts on fruits and vegetables. I did see peaches on sale, but it was the usual sale price I see every time the fruit starts getting a little too ripe. After I left, I thought about how good it would have been for HyVee to have had people at the store talking to us shoppers about breast cancer and ways to lower our risks. Instead, it was just another shopping day.

  2. Let’s not forget the Cancer Crawls where one hops from bar to bar and downs alcohol to the point where a cigarette is a good and irresistible idea.

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