Pink High Heels to Fight Cancer or Boost Sales?

A. Foley on 31 Aug 2010 at 3:48pm

This just arrived to our press mailbox. Pink heels by Yves Saint Laurent for $995 ($100 goes to cancer research). And YSL wants you to know that "to be sure every customer is a happy customer, there are 3 inch heels available, and for the more daring, 4 inch heels."

This begs the question, does this example of buying pink represent a true sign of care and a humanitarian spirit, or is this another example of what's called "pink washing" (exploiting the breast cancer fundraising movement)? 

Pink fire trucks seems like a reasonable way to raise awareness...

Pink Fire Truck

..but Pink KFC buckets of fried chicken caused a near uproar.

Pink Bucket of Chicken

Breast Cancer Action offers a list of questions to ask before buying pink, including:

  • What is the maximum amount that will be donated? Many companies cap the donation amount
  • What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
  • To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?

In the case of YSL, they state donations go to Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Research Institute.