Too much pink?

October's colors are traditionally red, yellow, gold and brown, the warm tones of fall. But pink?

There are many people who dislike the wave of pink that engulfs the world in October. The pink ribbon is everywhere, from cat litter to bagels to g-strings. Many people feel that all these Pink Products for sale are an overcommercialization of a serious issue and a desperate attempt for companies to get on the cause marketing bandwagon.

Personally, I share the view of Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder, Nancy Brinker, when she said There is not nearly enough pink. Susan G. Komen for the Cure raises $55 million a year via cause marketing. Putting pink ribbons on eggs and cereal helps bring awareness to women who might not be reached any other way. Cause marketing keeps the issue at the forefront of people's consciousness. Also, many people do not have the funds to make direct donations, and cause marketing helps them feel more involved. Cause marketing lets people contribute to a cause they believe in by purchasing things they would be purchasing anyway, or by raising a brand's visibility through their own social networks.

Yes, a company could make a direct donation of $1 million. But that doesn't do anything for awareness. I want to know that a company has donated $1 million towards breast cancer research because it will make me more likely to support them. It's like a tie-breaker: all else being equal, I am probably more likely to buy a product made by a company that is known to support breast cancer research organizations than their competitors (note, I'll say it again, all else being equal!).

I also have no problem with companies tying the donations to tweets, or to "liking" the company's Facebook page. If the company has a guaranteed minimum donation, even better. If, for example, a company offers a $1 donation per Facebook like, I'm happy to "like" them and to ask my friends to do the same. That's why I don't clutter my Facebook status with inane requests to change my profile picture to a cartoon or copy and paste some sentimental text to my Facebook status if I love my mother -- if I'm going to blast all my Facebook friends this way, I want it to be meaningful. And if the company does get lots of publicity (not to mention tons of new "likes") for this stunt? Hey, they're donating money to breast cancer research, they deserve a bit of recognition.

That said, I do think there is some justification for feeling Pink Fatigue, and everyone should do their homework before purchasing a Pink Product to make sure the company is truly committed to donating funds for breast cancer research. Think Before You Pink has a post with five questions to ask before you buy a Pink Product that everyone should read. And with those few caveats, I say Bring On the Pink!

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