I've written before about the near-total uselessness of many of the products that go pink during the month of October to promote "breast cancer awareness." Of course, some people like the pink or are of the mind that "every little bit helps."
But I think even the most pink-ribbon bedecked shopper can agree with me that some products just shouldn't be going pink ... like these.
The Pink Taser. Oh, how I wish this was an Onion story I mistook for real, but no: Nanny Cam Safety Products is donating 25 percent of the sales of its "fashion pink" Taser C2 to the classily named "Feel Your Boobies Foundation." I'll give them this; unlike a lot of products whose pledge of a percentage of proceeds to breast cancer charities means a whopping couple cents, this bad boy retails for $349.99. That's a nice chunk of change, if a deeply strange tie-in.
Fried Chicken Buckets: Earlier this year, KFC changed the color of their buckets from red to pink "for the cure." Here's the thing: Individual operators of each KFC store had to purchase the buckets at 50 cents a pop, and that's where the donation to the Komen Foundation came from, not from anyone who decided to buy KFC chicken to help out. The Think Before You Pink Campaign has a great take-down of the whole thing. I'll give them this: The campaign netted Komen the largest donation in the charity's history, $4.2 million. That is a lot of nasty chicken.
Breast Cancer Booze: Pink wine's rarely a good idea, no matter how much you want to support the cause. And given that alcohol use raises your risk for breast cancer, tie-ins like Chambord's "Pink Your Drink" campaign and Mike's Hard Lemonade Pink Lemonade are a little odd, at best. The Breast Cancer Network of Strength's interim CEO says the group is going to walk away from Chambord's money, about $50,000 so far. And I really hate to trash Mike's Hard Lemonade; they've given half a million dollars to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in honor of an employee who died from the disease, and it's not linked to sales.
Cleaning Sponges: Armaly Brands, makers of Brillo pads, recently reinstated the pink soap that was in their products, versus whatever they'd had in there before. The company "celebrate(d) the return to pink" by donating five cents from each sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Guess how many packages of Brillo pads that would be? One million.
Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and what have you: Excess weight is another risk factor for breast cancer, and linking food with no nutritional value, like these pink ribbon cupcakes or these chocolate-dipped strawberries and brownie pops, to the cause misses the point. They do give 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of sales to breast cancer charities. It's not to much to ask that products that donate money to breast cancer causes don't actually contribute to raising anyone's risk.