Posted on October 25, 2022

By Zoë Christopher, Program Officer & Operations Manager

This month, you have joined us as we recognized two decades of mobilizing people to think critically about pink ribbon marketing and culture.

An Evolution: How has pink ribbon marketing and culture evolved?  

The pink ribbon is one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the 21st century, but it’s real impact on the breast cancer crisis is minimal considering the billions of dollars raised. Much has evolved since the inception of pink ribbon gimmicks. What was once a simple strategy of slapping a pink ribbon on a product, pinkwashing has become insidious and more pervasive, inspiring cause-marketing tactics across industries. Motivated by profit, not public health, these types of campaigns are both unique to and normalized under capitalism.

Late-stage capitalism and health justice 

Late-stage capitalism is an economic and cultural term used to refer to “absurdities, contradictions, crises, injustices, inequality, and exploitation created by modern business development.” Discriminatory racial classification, environmental negligence, and economic exploitation is built into the fabric of this unchecked, profit-over-people economic system, and like the breast cancer crisis itself, these injustices disproportionately impact our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

A Revolution: What can we do about it?  

To support our Think Before You Pink campaign, A (R)Evolution, educate your network on the impacts of rampant late-stage capitalism on our health, organize your community to do something about it, and take action with us! Here’s how:

  1. Educate: Learn how rampant, late-stage capitalism encourages profiteering off of breast cancer. You can share the facts on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media platforms to educate your network.
  2. Organize: Have you seen pink ribbon marketing in your community that may be spreading misinformation or empty awareness? Develop your own Think Before You Pink® campaign with the guides from our free newly-revised Think Before You Pink® Toolkit.
  3. Take Action: If you haven’t already, sign our Open Letter to the Breast Cancer Industry!

Together we’ll continue to push the boundaries of what breast cancer advocacy looks like, demanding large-scale, meaningful changes to address and end this crisis, not pink ribbon profiteering.