Thinking pink? Product ties to breast cancer charities bear some scrutiny

PinkRibbonBearforWeb Thinking pink? Product ties to breast cancer charities bear some scrutiny

All kinds of products are dressed in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Forget orange and black. For many products, this month’s color is pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Pink packaging – and a real or implied tie to breast cancer charities – comes on products ranging from socks to cereal, lint rollers to water bottles. Pink ribbons seem to be everywhere in October.

The BBB has found that some pink-labeled products provide very limited benefits to charities, while makers of other products guarantee a minimum donation for products bought during a promotional period.

If you want to support breast cancer charities by purchasing products, the BBB advises that you look into how that purchase will benefit a charity and which charity will get the money. More tips:

  • Inspect the product for information. Many companies clearly report on labels how much of their sales go to charity and specifically where the money goes.
  • Check the company’s website. If the information isn’t on the product itself, it often can be found at the website address printed on the product packaging.
  • If you still can’t find the information, call the company and ask for it. Firms that use charity tie-ins to market their products should be transparent to consumers.
  • Contact the charity directly if you have doubts they are receiving proceeds.
  • Check out the charity to decide whether you believe it is worthy of your support. One way to do this is by contacting the BBB to determine whether the charity meets the BBB’s 20 Standards for Accountability. You may reach the BBB by going to

Before you do business with a charity or company, check its BBB Business Review or BBB Charity Review at

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About Jerri Stroud

Jerri Stroud is editor for the BBB Serving Eastern Missouri & Southern Illinois. She joined the BBB in 2008 after a long career as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.