Sunday 17 November 2013

Pink Ribbons, Inc.

"Breast cancer has become the poster child of corporate cause-related marketing campaigns. Countless women and men walk, bike, climb and shop for the cure. Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does this money go and what does it actually accomplish? Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause," becomes obfuscated by a shiny, pink story of success." - IMDb description

Breast cancer research is among the most successful activist causes in the world from a marketing perspective. Mass interest has been developed and people have been willing to go out of their way to donate money or raise awareness for the cause. But from a cost-effectiveness perspective, breast cancer research can do a lot better. Despite the National Breast Cancer Foundation raising $21.9 million in revenue in 2011/2012, the fruits of cancer research have been limited.

This documentary explores the pink ribbon marketing campaign and how it creates an illusion of extraordinary progress surrounding breast cancer research. It also might help effective altruists figure out how to value cancer research compared to other causes. Also, if curing cancer is not all that cost-effective, then maybe an emphasis should instead be placed on supporting cancer victims financially or on making existing cancer treatments less painful.

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