In 2012 METAvivor launched it’s “Elephant in the Pink Room” campaign to highlight that despite pervasive awareness of breast cancer thanks to both legitimate awareness campaigns and “Pinktober” marketing, what we still try to ignore is the reality of getting, living with and dying from metastatic breast cancer.
This morning I discovered that the campaign was essentially stolen by Kohl’s Department Stores to “fundraise” for Susan G. Komen and I am truly outraged! (Find the Kohl’s Cares campaign here.) First and foremost, it is disgusting that Kohl’s would impinge on a small non-profit organization’s pre-existing campaign in such a blatant and unethical manner, and do so to sell more products (like their “pink elephant” necklace) and direct “charitable” dollars to another, behemoth of an organization.
The “elephant in the room” metaphor is about the effort to NOT see what is patently obvious in our midst. I find it difficult to believe that women in America are ignoring breast cancer in any way, or that we need Kohl’s to get us talking about it. On the contrary, what is not being discussed is the very real threat of metastatic breast cancer – the kind that can’t be cured, the kind that kills – the kind that pink ribbon parties find to be a downer. Kohl’s marketing is therefore not only a stolen ad, but a senseless one.
Susan G. Komen (which has recently dropped “for the Cure” from their name) has a history of suing “mom and pop” fundraising efforts to protect their “for the Cure” brand. How ironic they partner with Kohl’s to impinge on a comparatively small, grant-giving nonprofit in this manner.
Perhaps most insulting of all is that Kohl’s would run ripshod over METAvivor in pursuit of more profits with yet another marketing campaign disguised as a “cause” fundraising. When will it end?
It occurs to me that there is one way to make this right: donate the proceeds to the originators of the “Elephant in the Pink Room” campaign – support METAvivor and make a real difference in the lives of those dying from breast cancer!
2/24: To read METAvivor’s open letter to Kohl’s click here.