Stupid Pictures

I agree with Jane. The Pink Campaign should be properly evaluated. This would highlight whether the campaign is actually a success in terms of raising awareness amongst the general population of the extent and seriousness of breast cancer, if it is a good means of fund raising and most importantly, that those funds are put to good use. The big problem with mass media campaigns is that they are often fairly useless and dont achieve what they set out to do. I would be very interested to see if there was any valid evaluation available?

Don’t know about evaluations of the Pink campaign, but I remember hearing a piece on the radio about a social sciences researcher who’d investigated how much people who wore various pins actually knew about the condition they were “supporting”. Not much, was the conclusion, most people wearing pink ribbons had no idea how many women a year were diagnosed with BC. Her verdict seemed to be that BC and AIDS pins were mostly a fashion statement - a public “see how much I care about those poor people”.

Vague feeling it was on the Laurie Taylor programme, I shall have a poke about if only to satisfy my own curiosity.


Not sure if this will go through the moderator - from the Thinking Allowed site on Radio 4 20 February -

The programme quote is -
“Researcher Sarah Moore, in her recently published book Ribbon Culture: Charity, Compassion, and Public Awareness, says that popular Ribbon Culture came about initially as a means of going against the grain, by focussing on controversial topics. But although charities claim that ribbons spread awareness, she thinks that it has become a fashion item, making giving to charity easy without the need to really consider the cause it ‘supports’.”

Brain like a pack rat…


Hi Lyn

Sounds really interesting, will try and have a listen. It does seem to suggest that people are more interested in having their pink ribbons etc as a fashion accessory without the need for consideration. There were similar rubber bracelets a few years ago for some charity (havent a clue which one) which were so sought after that my son bought one from ebay for several pounds. I was livid as I said he should have donated the money directly to the charity, but he obviously didnt give a hoot about the cause, only the bracelet.

I should add, that the hypocrite that I am, I remember buying the original Band Aid single without caring much about why it was produced. I remember watching Live Aid and wishing that Bob Geldof would shut up about the “poor Africans” and let the bands get on with their music. It did make me think a little bit about a subject I knew absolutely nothing about, so in that sense it was successful, but so much of the same ilk has gone on since, I have got truly fed up with it all.

My relationship with the AIDS “community” goes back to the very beginning both here and in the USA. The wearing of the red ribbon back then was provocative and defiant.
It was a v-sign to a society which thought it was a gay plague and that the “victims” had it coming. It was away of saying " don’t you dare ignore us."
Back then if you wore a red ribbon people moved away from you on the tube. It was about as far from a fashion statement as you could get.

But what do we have today? Madeleine McCann yellow ribbons sold by a national supermarket.

I was looking for bandanas on the internet for when I start chemo - I found one that was covered in pink ribbons. Why? So that the average Joe in the street knows exactly what flavour of cancer I have?

I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Me niethe its one of those things every one has different perceptions about what is right or wrong, at leastwe have this wonderful service to network on. The home page is of little or no relevence. If you dont like it switch it off or go straight to the forums or wherever else you want to on the site. I suppose we could go to the opposite extreme and have a funeral scene on the home page just to remind people that its not all happy

The important thing is,is that money is being raised to help us and others like us find a cure for this terrible disease.Does it really matter how it’s done!! I know I’m extremely grateful for it,pink or no pink!
Alli x

The Pink Campaign will always have supporters and detractors. I don’t have a problem with it and if it raises awareness and encourages people to give something rather than nothing at all then surely that is not a bad thing

If people do not agree with it then they can make their donation or whatever directly to the charity etc.of their choice.

Love and take care

I guess its whoever is marketing these charities who are responsible. Some use images of sick and dying children, some encourage us to buy red noses for a serious cause and then there is the pink issue. I do agree that many corporates have jumped on the band wagon and used the pink image as a good marketing ploy. I guess it depends whether you feel the end (being the money and awareness raised) justifies the means. I too think images of mastectomised, bald women would not be good marketing. Truthful perhaps, but not effective?

I usually stay out of these debates, while not particularly keen on all the pink hype, some of it is OK and it does raise awareness and money.

I hated my body with one boob, never showed of my scar, always wore my prosthesis and used the cold cap during chemo to keep my hair, now have longish hair again and recon and feeling better in myself.

But I would absolutley hate pictures of bald woman with surgery scars being used for any campaign, especially if they were stuck up all around work places, buses and tubes, dont particularly think my young kids would appreciate the constant reminder either.

Perhaps posters and merchandise should have facts added on them, ie how many woman get diagnosed, how many under 40, how many woman die and get mets, this may hit home better as I expect most of us looked pretty well and fit when we were diagnosed like the people in the picture.

Each to their own, this is one debate that always has alot of views.


I think the Cancer Research tv ad campaign is incredibly powerful - the idea of a key person being “absent” - like the mother at the daughter’s wedding.

BC can take away mothers, wives, sisters, daugters. That’s the horror of this disease - fear and loss - not bald heads and battle scars. That’s what you have to “sell” to the public - fear of losing what matters most to them. And yes Debsy I think a few key stats would open people’s eyes.

The 1 in 3 statistic used by Cancer Research brings the reality of cancer home to people. This is not something that happens to other people - if it doesn’t touch you directly then it will almost certainly affect someone close to you.

BC charities should be pushing the 1 in 8 statistic into the public consciousness more. I live in a tiny village - on our lane there are about 20 people. 2 of us here have breast cancer. Epidemic is an emotive word - but pretty accurate where this thing is concerned.


I agree, Molly, the CR tv ad works.

I think you have to be ‘selling’ cancer education to the public. If, instead of buying a pink product or ribbon, you bought an informative leaflet or booklet which explains a bit about the nature of cancer as a disease, its biology, its signs, its treatments and treatability, side-effects and so on, the money could go to the cancer charities and the public could usefully be made more aware. As you say, 1 in 3 will be affected so everyone needs to be educated.

Pink October could be used to much better effect.


Hi all,

In a competitive marketplace charities have to stand out from the crowd and make themselves heard. Charities also have to deal with the public’s ‘compassion fatigue’ and ‘shock fatigue’ and so maybe are keen to push the ‘fun’ aspect of fund raising instead.

Think about Comic Relief and the seriously valuable work it does. I don’t hear anyone wanting to get rid of that even though the fundraising aspect is about as frivolous as one can get.

In an ideal world all this marketing wouldn’t be needed but shock tactics don’t seem to work. So we need to think carefully before asking the cancer charities to replace Pink October with Black October.

Best wishes,



Personally the pictures on the home page neither delight nor offend me - they have to use something and no matter what picture is chosen it will never please everyone.

I agree about the 1 in 3 ads … there is a particular picture that I’ve seen where there are 3 sisters/friends and one is circled … as I have 2 sisters I am the one in the circle, I just hope the others don’t join in.

I do wear a pink ribbon pin - have done since Avon started doing them many years back and I have bought many items in the Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign … personally whatever raises awareness and funds is fine by me.

I have been fundraising for years now and I know how hard it is to get people interested in giving up their time and money to raise money for these charities that do an awful lot for many different factions of people.

I know buying a pink ribbon can be an easy way to give your pennies to a good cause but every little helps. How many of us walk past the collectors in the street and either do not look at them or do not even consider giving to them or like me until recently give because I know I might not be hassled again. I had raised money before in ways where I did not really have to deal with the public in general and the first day I stood and did a street collection it was sole destroying. It was bucketing out of the heavens and a very cold Nov day, I noticed a young blond girl hurry by and thought there goes another one too busy with life to care, she walked back about 10 mins later and apologised for having walked on earlier and gave me her change which she didn’t have any of. She asked me if I was not cold and I commented on my hands, she asked why I hadn’t gloves on and I said I couldn’t because of the stickers. I carried on looking at ppl rush on with their day to day lives and about 30 mins later the same young girl came up to me and handed me a bag, she said “I saw these and thought they’ be good for you”, I was gobsmacked to say the least I offered to pay for what she had bought me but she said “No, you are doing a great job, my gran died of cancer and I hope some day they do find a cure”. Needless to say I was extremely taken aback by this young girls generosity and care for others. What did she buy me? A pair of fingerless gloves which had a mitten bit you could use to cover your fingers with so I was then able to do the rest of my time with my fingerless gloved hand giving out the stickers and the fully mittened up one holding the collection box.

What the hell am I rambling on about? I suppose I am just trying to say that the charities have a job to do and a message to get across. Yes pink events can be annoying to some and it may seem like a band wagon but if it brings in the pennies so that BCC can help ladies and MEN who are affected by breast cancer then so be it. I am thinking of organising a pink event in October for BCC and I know that there will be a lot of people wanting to help and not just because I am now fighting this bloomin awful thing but because they want to help in general.

People sometimes don’t know how they can help or know the facts and figures about who and how people are affected but I think events organised to raise awareness and money are great. This website is not just for us who have been dx but for anyone interested in getting info about BCC and breast cancer in general so if the picture in the front grabs their attention then so be it. We can all flick by very quickly and get to our forums and chat and talk about the way we feel and let those who just happened to cross the website see what BCC does and needs help with. I know it is so hard to deal with this thing and the underlying affects it has on us physically and mentally but everyone is different. I do want to see pics o f ppl who are going through the same as me but I also want to see ppl who have come out the other side and also ppl it has never affected sometimes it’s all to easy to get caught up in what we are dealing with and quite rightly we should at times but there are other ppl to think about on some occassions.

Sorry if this offends anyone but as someone who has been on the other side of raising awareness and money on a purely voluntary basis I feel that every little helps.

There is nothing like experience to help us refocus, so thanks for adding your real time knowledge and experience to the whole.

I’m not in the least offended!


Leeloo - beautifully put.

I feel it’s good to have a better awareness of BC and it is good that more people talk openly about it. My father can’t mention the “C” word, referring to it as “the other”. All the same, I do feel a bit uncomfortable with the “pink” thing. Is it making it all a bit “pink and fluffy”? Can’t make my mind up. I’m very uncomfortable with Asda’s campaing being called “Tickled Pink”. Tickled pink is supposed to mean you’re really happy, is n’t it? A bad choice of words I think as I don’t think any BC patient could be described as tickled pink. All the same, if it brings the money in and raises awareness, is it all bad?

The pub next door had a really simple old fashioned fund raising day for cancer research on Saturday. There was an auction of promises which raised a fair bit, kids got faces painted, apple bobbing, BBQ you know the kind of thing.

No one had to make a fool of themselves, do anything embarrassing and nowt were pink (phew does not suit me).

I don’t have a problem with the pics perse, it’s cheesy to me that’s all. But I’s sticking with pink as optional thanks.

I probably will be having a black party rather than pink 'cause a lot of my friends are in touch with their dark sides and we raise a fair amount having a goth party and probably will. Lots of bright red roses etc too of course.

I think we can be allowed to be a bit inventive and stay away from things that we find cringeworthy.

OH said he would pay not to have to wear pink pants on his head, but he would complain about the extortion :slight_smile: