Global warming is driving the current profusion of all things green in retail environments. But as the temperature rises this springtime, it’s bosoms – not blossoms – that have pink busting out all over the supermarket shelves.

The seasonal wave of “cause-related marketing” products supporting breast cancer is beginning to get confusing, if not completely over the top. To start with, there are now two seasons for pink promotions – one in Spring (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month culminating in Pink Ribbon Day on October 22) and the other around Mother’s Day in May. Combine this with the profusion of breast cancer-related organisations using this strategy to raise awareness and/or funds, and we’re starting to see some more bizarre product tie-ins and even direct competitors fighting for control of the pink bits of consumers’ minds.

Michel’s Patisserie, a familiar tenant of food courts nationally, is currently offering “Pink Ribbon Cup Cakes” in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Those who’ve been paying attention may recall that back in May, Baker’s Delight offered “Pink Lady” finger buns in support of Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Can finger buns and cupcakes co-exist peacefully in the name of supporting breast cancer? Or is this the first ripple of an impending shakeout?

And perhaps one of the more disturbing pink promotions has just appeared in the freezer section of your local grocer. During October, the Inghams Chicken people are donating funds to breast cancer nurses via the McGrath Foundation (as in cricketer Glenn and wife Jane) from sales of special pink-packaged “breast appetizers” and “breast bites”.

Nice sentiment but… ewww.

(In fact, Inghams took things a pun too far when it used the slogan “breast awareness week” to promote its pink chicken breast products. The ad drew the ire of women and a ban from the Advertising Standards Bureau, as reported in The Daily Telegraph.)

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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