Archive | October, 2013

Running on pink fumes

29 Oct




Pinktober is coming to an end, but the pink marketing machines are still rolling.

In my Sunday paper, I noticed that Proctor and Gamble included their multi-page pink coupon insert. It appears that P&G partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.


I visited the P&G and NBCF websites, and found no information about any monetary donations.  This smells like a pink promotion opportunity. One of the items is a pink Swiffer sweeper.  Walmart is probably the largest customer of P&G products, and they have store displays of the pink Swiffer accompanied with a Walmart employee that is a breast cancer survivor.  On these displays is the website Cleaning for a Reason.    According to their website “Breast Cancer Awareness Month creates a natural opportunity for Cleaning for a Reason to raise awareness of their mission to ease the burden of household chores for women.”

Allotta money was spent on the production of these coupon inserts and store displays.  I’m sad to see that there is no monetary donation included in this. Especially since this pink promotion involves Walmart and P&G – two gigantic companies.


Yoplait yogurt is once again running their lid promotion to benefit Komen.   Apparently, you can save your lids to save lives. Who knew? Peel-off your spoogy-yogurt-covered lid and place it into an envelope for mailing.  Some poor intern has to open these envelopes and count these lids.  While I doubt this actually happens, I hope that this poor intern is wearing rubber gloves.

According to their website: General Mills will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen® for each lid received (and also for each code entered from select Yoplait products) by 6/30/14. Maximum total donation of up to $1,500,000


The NPQ had a good article titled The Economics of Pinkwashing at the NFL: Straw on the Camel’s Back?    This was an enlightening read about how much money is actually given to the American Cancer Society from all of the pink NFL merchandise.  “for every $100 spent on the pink stuff sold through the NFL’s breast cancer initiative, the American Cancer Society only receives $11.25″   Boooooo. Shame.

I visited the Charity Navigator website.  There are 27 organizations that are registered with Breast Cancer in their name or mission.  Of these 27, Eleven are ranked highest at 4 star and four are ranked as a zero star.  Too many organization are using pink to raise money.  It is my pleasure to call them out.

Here is what a breast cancer survivor thinks about pinkwashing.

BTW – November is Diabetes Awareness month.  I wonder what color is associated with that?





How do you measure success?

22 Oct



How do you measure the success of your walkathon?

This article in CIT magazine made me start to thinking about how we measure the success of our events.

Traditionally, most walks measure their success on the numbers:

– Number of walkers

– Number of teams

– Number of donated dollars


As an event manager, I see success measured by different elements:

– Setup and breakdown without incident

– The number of complaint emails I receive after the event

– The amount of eye-contact I receive from senior management the day-after

– The number walker incidents I need to follow-up on

– Rental vehicles making it back without an insurance claim

– The speed at which I can evict the guerilla-marketers from the event site

– Expenses under 20%


You may have some staff colleagues that measure success differently.

Communications staff may measure success with the number of mentions on Twitter, or likes on the event Facebook page, or news outlets that show up at the event.

Mission staff may measure success with the number of volunteers they have recruited.  Measuring awareness of a mission is a hard one, but I would think that any new walker or donor to the walk would be counted.

Advocacy staff may measure the number of signatures they receive for a petition.

Finance may measure the size of the deposit or the time it takes to close-out the event.

HR may measure the number of complaints they get from staff for having to work on a weekend.


Here is how Bill and Melinda Gates measure success.

This article at CNN Money, mentions to measure success by relationships, not money.  I like this because you need to bring these relationships into your organization and move them up your development pyramid.

The more I read on this – the more I see that everyone has their opinion on what a successful event really is, and how they like to measure it.


Pink Promotion machine

3 Oct



It is barely October, and the Pink Promotions are in full swing.  Many of you already know that my major pet-peeve is when companies use the pink ribbon to market their items, and give a small amount to a breast cancer cause.  I am convinced that they spend more on the marketing and pink packaging than they do on the donation.   I’m waiting to be proven wrong.  (yawn)

Here is a few that I have come upon this week:

Delta Airlines is having a competition for their “pics for a cure” campaign to encourage Facebook folks to upload their fave pink-spirited photos.  Winners are decided by the number of votes and they will get a $20K donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in their name. If the winner gets more that 20,000 votes, then Delta will donate $40K to the BCRF.



Lane Bryant is selling pink ribbon apparel, with 10% of the sales going to the American Cancer Society.  According to their website, they hope to raise $700K for ACS.  I like how they rolled-in the texting option for an instant donation.

lane brayant


Here is an Energizer promotion I found in my Sunday paper.  Who knew that buying batteries could help fight breast cancer?  That little Energizer bunny is very busy. That pink bunny has a website to let consumers know that they have given $3 million to Susan G Komen since 2005, including $150,000 in 2013.



And here is the BIG BOOB award for their shameless self promotion using breast cancer to raise money:

Work Out World ad

Work Out World ad

Work Out World is running commercials indicating that they will donate $1 per new member to breast cancer awareness.  I visited their website and no recipient is noted.    Pfttttttthhhht.

Finally, here is a great article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy about how consumers that buy charity-related product want results.  Interesting that they noted that 54% of consumers bought a charity-related product last year. 

Good luck to my pals this weekend in Boston for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk!