Consuming for a cause

When you buy something that gives a portion of the sale price to a good cause are you really donating to charity?
 
 
 
 
 
  • Updated:1 Sep 2008
 

04.CRM campaigns in focus

A pink explosion

Pink ribbon productsWhen you walk into shops in October, you might think some of them have been taken over by teenage girls, thanks to the mass of hot-pink products on offer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has run the pink products promotion in Australia for the past four years, and in 2008, 60 pink-branded products will hit the shelves for the month.

Leonie Walton, Manager of Corporate and Campaign Marketing for the NBCF, says the pink products promotion raised $2 million for cancer research last year, thanks to cause-related marketing. The promotion greatly raised the profile of the NBCF, something it wouldn’t have the budget to do solo.

Although the foundation is quickly becoming famous for “pinking up” every October, Walton says the pink products promotion only forms part of the NBCF’s overall fundraising strategy. Other fundraising activities include the Mothers’ Day Classic run and volunteer days.

A tale of two bottles

When Mount Franklin water partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation two years ago to sell bottled water branded with pink lids, it was a sales success and the partnership has so far contributed $500,000 to the cause.

Early this year, Mount Franklin partnered with Landcare in a similar promotion, resulting in a $150,000 investment to plant 250,000 trees. Critics of the bottled water brand (owned by Coca-Cola Amatil) such as the Bottled Water Alliance blasted the two organisations with accusations of greenwash.

Coca Cola spokesperson Sally Loane says the criticism was unfair and that the project wasn’t greenwash. “We did what we said and donated 250,000 trees to Landcare. We weren’t pretending to be carbon neutral, we weren’t pretending to be green or pretending to do carbon offsets from our bottle emissions.”

Landcare National Business Development Director Scott Gibson says extensive research into the partnership was done before embarking on the project and still believes the $150,000 investment was a success.

In response to suggestions that the partnership encouraged people to buy bottled water, Loane says, “Clearly we are a company that sells bottled water, but we can enable our consumers if they want to buy bottled water to have money donated to breast cancer research or have trees planted, so there is an inbuilt extra.

“I find the criticism unfair as we’ve done the same thing with breast cancer, yet no-one accused us of pinkwash.”

While both organisations say the Landcare-Mount Franklin partnership will continue in some form, neither would confirm that a similar promotion is on the cards.

 

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