So, its October again and Breast Cancer Awareness month to boot. I hear a lot of discussion both positive and negative to do with BC Awareness campaigns - but is any publicity really bad publicity in this instance?
Everyone is different in how they react to a charity or awareness campaign - some prefer to see the harsh gritty reality and some prefer the softer approach - the cuddly toy or in Breast Cancer's case the Pink Ribbon.
I personally like both and feel that both have there place, for instance I put a link to the Scar Project up on my Facebook page, their tag line being "Breast Cancer is Not a Pink Ribbon", and yes they are right the harsh reality of Breast Cancer is not soft and cuddly. The point being I exposed a group of friends to something very honest and that some may find uncomfortable viewing, but I was quite surprised when a close male friend said he had looked at the link and was absolutely blown away by the honesty and bravery of the project, I think it also helped him understand more about what I was going through and enabled us as friends to speak more freely about it.
But on the flip side of this the Pink Ribbon is one of the most recognised awareness symbols today and a lot of big brands have jumped on the "Pink" bandwagon giving a percentage of the profits from their "Pink" items to Breast Cancer Charities. I don't think there is anything wrong with the Pink and fluffy approach but maybe we are becoming too focused on the product and the symbol and the actual message is getting lost - Breast Cancer is a killer, anyone can get it and we should know what to look for - but even with all the "Pink" awareness people still don't know what to look for and still ignore the symptoms! This is why I say that maybe the focus is sometimes too much in the wrong direction.
I think also it is an interesting debate as to what retailers / brands the Breast Cancer Charities are joining up with - I think one that I saw that I really was unsure about was KFC!
At the end of the day any awareness campaign is good but I think that certainly the more commercial campaigns should be looking for a better way to get the real message across instead of just thinking about their profit margin.