P eople usually associate the pink ribbon with National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but people will be surprised to know the widely recognized symbol is not registered to any agency, meaning anyone can use it.
S he's a two year breast cancer survivor , and today, Liz Jordan is surprised to hear that some businesses are taking advantage of a symbol she knows too well.
" I just think it's very sad , that someone would take advantage of something that's supposed to go to help women, prevent and treat breast cancer , and for them to use it in that way," she said.
T he Better Business Bureau (BBB) is calling the scam 'pinkwashing.' It comes from the fact that no organization has registered the symbol, and this month makes breast cancer awareness a prime target for pinkwashing.
" T he pink ribbon is used for breast cancer awareness and a lot of companies are aware of that. " CEO of BBB, Janna Kiehl, said. "W hile many companies do contribute a portion of their sales to research, for the organization, many of them just use the pink ribbon and never give any money or proceeds of the purchases to any research or breast cancer awareness cause."
The BBB sa id it's difficult to know the good guys from the bad, but one way it can help is to educate consumers about donating money or purchasing products with the pink ribbon.
"D onors need to do their research before they give , that way they know who they're giving to and what's that money going to be used for. That's the bottom line," Kiehl said.
We also contacted the S usan G Komen Amarillo affiliate who serves thousands of women in 26 counties of the Panhandle.
Executive Director, Lisa Hoff Davis, said 75 percent of the funds raised locally help benefit women in Texas, the other 25 percent goes to research and development.
" B efore Komen enters into any cause related marketing program, we like to make sure organizations, companies or products have a genuine breast cancer commitment that's clearly disclosed to consumers," she said.
A s for Jordan she's always reminded of what the pink ribbon stands for. "I normally do the Race for the Cure, I usually do that, and this year we'll be going the Cattle Baron Ball."