Yet another reason to ask critical questions before buying pink…

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Breast Cancer Action started the Think Before You Pink® campaign to call for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourage consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

The continuing need for this campaign is most evident during October, when we (and our members) discover that products emblazoned with the pink ribbon are doing nothing to end the breast cancer epidemic- even if their packages carry promises related to donations for research.

The new, pink-tinted G.U.M.® Soft Picks®, with packaging that claims G.U.M. is supporting breast cancer research, are yet another example of deceptive pink products.

BCA’s Executive Director, Barbara Brenner writes:

So, I use these little things to clean between my teeth when flossing isn’t an option. They’re made by G.U.M, and they are called “soft picks.” Today I walked into Walgreen’s because I was running low on them, and found to my horror that they had “gone pink.” The tips were pink (used to be green), and the package, with a big pink ribbon in it, said “a portion of product sales will be donated to breast cancer research.*”
When I looked hard to find the what the “*” on the package referred to, I found, in fine print on the back, a statement to go to a website to find out more.
Well I found the website. Here it is:
And, while the promise is to support “breast cancer research,” the money goes to, which does not do research.
Donation is capped at $15,000.
But why should anyone have to search so hard to find out what’s going on?
We know, don’t we?


  1. Karen
    Posted October 20, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I totally get and agree with your overall point (they are saying the $$ goes to research and technically it doesn’t), but I fear that this piece kind of implies that is not a reputable organization. I just want to put it out there that is the leading online source of information re. breast health and is a very reputable organization. Just want to make sure that is clear for the readers. Thanks!

  2. Posted October 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I saw these just a few days ago when I was hunting down brush picks at my local grocery store…after hacking my way through the overflowing flower department with all of its pink ribbon/teddybear/geegaw/flowerpot gift crapola in order to get to the pharmacy department…

    I never liked pink.

  3. Posted October 22, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I posted on their FB page, and this the response I got:
    Ann-Marie Bull MacKay I’m confused, you say you are giving money to Breast Cancer Research, yet the organization that you are donating money to doesn’t do research at all
    16 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    GUM Soft-Picks
    Hi Ann-Marie-
    Thanks for pointing that out, I will clarify on the website!
    Our retail division is donating a portion of product sales to, and our professional division is donating a portion of product sales to the Breast Cancer Research Fund, here is the link:

    29 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

  4. Posted November 16, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Personally, whenever I hear someone say they will clarify on the website where the donations go is a red flag. The bottom line is it states that it goes to research but, in reality very little actually goes to “research”.

    I want to see laws passed that mandates where all donations raised for “cancer research” actually goes. So far there are only a handful of non-profits that use breast cancer fund raisers for research. The majority of their funds are spent on their ceo’s and overhead costs…..I neverbought into the buying of anything pink ……it’s nothing more than a marketing tool for corporations…when I see people with anything pink promoting breast cancer I see someone that wants to feel good that they donated a dollar to some advertising gimick without actually doing any research on their own…..

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