Another Failed Breast Cancer Gimmick

This week, I’ve learned that some of my female Facebook friends like it on the front seat of the car. Some like it in a chair. A few even like it on the kitchen countertop.

It’s not what you think. In fact, it’s worse. It’s yet another failed attempt at a breast cancer awareness campaign, according to a blogger for The Washington Post.

Back in January, women were posting their bra colors on Facebook. That got men all worked up, partly because they weren’t in on the joke. But at least talking about bra colors has some relevance to breast cancer. It’s a thin thread that binds the two subjects, but a thread nonetheless.

This campaign is just stupid. “It,” in the latest viral campaign, is a woman’s purse. Someone please explain to me how a campaign that relies on titillating double entendre helps raise awareness of breast cancer. This has FAIL written all over it.

Believe me, I would love nothing more than to see a social-media campaign about breast cancer succeed. My mother passed away in May due to breast cancer that had metastasized in her liver. I have three sisters and a number of other important women in my life. I’d love to see an effective viral campaign that helps reduce the incidence of this horrible disease.

But this latest gimmick is just that — a gimmick played for laughs. If you really want to raise your awareness, read this instead.


3 Responses

  1. It’s sad that this campaign relies on shock value to cut through the noise. A friend of mine, Drew Lawrence, just completed a very creative and positive cancer awareness campaign based around social media. His mother was my boss and mentor several years ago, and she died of a brain tumor. Drew flew around the country on a JetBlue unlimited pass for 29 days before his 29th birthday (today) and made a lot of positive connections. Check out

  2. Robert, those amongst my acquaintance who posted where we like to leave our purses were doing it just for fun, not to raise awareness of anything. It was just to be silly and play. The email I received suggesting we have fun with this made no mention of breast cancer awareness, and wasn’t meant to diminish the seriousness of the disease, to enhance awareness of it, or anything else connected to it at all. I’m really sorry if it seemed disrespectful to you, and offer my sincere sympathy on the loss of your mother.

  3. I have to agree that the whole thing was stupid, even though the email I received DID mention breast cancer awareness. I played along, because a friend asked me, but I did wonder what was the point and who started it. There aren’t many of us who aren’t “aware” of breast cancer; I lost one of my best friends to it a number of years ago, have another friend going through treatment now, and two friends who recently marked five years of being cancer free. Like you, I would love to see a campaign that has an effect on this disease.

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