Are Pink Ribbons Bad for Breast Cancer Awareness?

October is breast cancer awareness month, when the pink comes out in force

This article is from the archive of our partner .

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means lots and lots of pink ribbons. But have those ribbons become so ubiquitous and commercial that they do more harm to the cause than good? Avishay Artsy of New Hampshire Public Radio, citing a forthcoming piece in the Boston Globe magazine by Kris Frieswick, poses the question, "Should Pink Ribbons Be Boycotted?"

Efforts to bring attention to the disease and raise money for a cure are ongoing. But breast cancer survivors are upset with what they see as the exploitation of breast cancer awareness. They feel companies are capitalizing on the disease merely to boost profits. Some see pink ribbons as a pure marketing ploy, and have signed on to a "Boycott October" campaign.

Artsy asks, "Is pink-ribbon marketing a good thing or not? Does it bring much-needed attention to breast cancer research and prevention, or does it simply profit off a deadly disease?" Those ribbons probably aren't going away anytime soon -- recall the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is mobbed for refusing to wear a red ribbon while marching against AIDS -- but it's an interesting question. Kris Frieswick will discuss the issue with New Hampshire Public Radio this Thursday.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.