Time to Re-think Think Pink? A Blog by Paul Klein

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Time to Re-think Think Pink? A Blog by Paul Klein

Paul Klein is president of Impakt Corporation, a Toronto-based outfit that helps corporations increase the returns on their community investments.
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Paul Klein: Time to Re-think Think Pink? http://3bl.me/kc8w4p


The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggersoffer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.  

Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 4:45pm


This morning I walked through The Bay and had a look at the many pink products on display as a part of their annual Think Pink program. By purchasing these products consumers can support the work of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).

 At one level, cause related marketing programs like this are a positive way to create awareness of important issues and to motivate behaviour change. However, in addition to featuring products that re-enforce gender stereotypes of women (without a sense of irony which would temper this effect), the Think Pink program raises more concern for me because of a lack consistency and clarity. For example, by purchasing a set of Think Pink Port-Style Flexible Nylon Spatula “a 10% contribution will be made to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation”.  I saw a Think Pink dish towel with a tag that states “With a purchase of this Think Pink product, a minimum of 10% (before taxes) will be contributed to the Foundation in support of ongoing research projects”. If you purchase a Pink Ribbon “Bling” Tote, “10% of the net proceeds will be contributed to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In other cases a specific amount (e.g. $5.00) is directed to the foundation. All the tags that I saw say that “In 2008, Hudson’s Bay Co. contributed $430,000 to the Foundation through the Think Pick program. Finally, some product tags also have this health promotion message “Be Breast Aware. Know your breasts. Look and feel for lumps, changes in skin texture, appearance and shape.”

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Keywords: Branding | CSR | Cancer Awareness | Corporate Social Responsibility | Corporations | Impakt corporation | Paul Klein | Relationships | Wellness | marketing