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Pink Ribbons, Inc.

18 customer reviews

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(Sep 25, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The ubiquitous pink ribbons of breast cancer philanthropy - and the hand-in-hand marketing of brands and products associated with that philanthropy-- permeates our culture, providing assurance that we are engaged in a successful battle against this insidious disease. But the campaign obscures the reality and facts of breast cancer - more and more women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and face the same treatment options they did 40 years ago. Yet women are also the most influential market group, buying 80 percent of consumer products and making most major household purchasing decisions. So then who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns -- the cause or the company? And what if the very companies and products that profit from their association have actually contributed to the problem?

In showing the real story of breast cancer and the lives of those who fight it, Pink Ribbons, Inc. reveals the co-opting of what marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause."


Resoundingly pops the shiny pink balloon of the breast cancer movement/industry, debunking the "comfortable lies" and corporate double-talk that permeate the massive and thus-far-ineffectual campaign against a disease that claims nearly 60,000 lives each year in North America alone. --John Anderson, Variety

CRITIC'S PICK! Uncannily prescient and enduringly timely. --Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

Revelatory...deserves to be seen. --Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dr. Susan Love, Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, Barbara Ehrenreich, Barbara Brenner, Samantha King
  • Directors: Lea Pool
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00768M7XC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,869 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

With an aunt currently enduring Stage Four treatment, I am especially attuned to checking out films/programs related to the topic of cancer. And in the world of cancer, specifically breast cancer, there is no campaign or subject more omnipresent and all-encompassing than the pink ribbon movement. Symbolizing community and survival and hope, various organizations utilize the pink ribbons (and peripheral merchandise) to stage events in the eternal pursuit of fundraising. But where has all that money gone? And is it really as altruistic as we might hope? The new documentary "Pink Ribbons, Inc." poses those questions and many more, and it is an essential look at corporate hypocrisy and skewed priorities. It is filled with many examples (I won't list anyone here specifically) that really seem to defy any logic other than greed.

The movie hits hard and is quite aggressive. Its primary target is big business and pharmaceuticals that use breast cancer as a means of commerce. Incidents of breast cancer are on the rise, we make more money than ever before, and we're getting no closer to a solution. The film rightly suggests that perhaps the main focus of fundraising should be geared to prevention (and not detection). Companies profit from treatment after detection, but prevention would be the end to a revenue stream. The second big issue, to my mind, that the film raises is just who is using pink ribbons as a platform for sales. Should corporations that produce carcinogenic and unhealthy products really be able to capitalize on pink marketing? If they really supported the cure for breast cancer, the answer is a lot closer to home than staging public relation events--get the harmful material out of your own practices!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hsw on September 25, 2012
I recently watched this Dvd, and highly recommend it to all women. It is a very powerful video and a serious eye opener. Although it could use a bit of editing in some parts, overall it is an outstanding dvd. There are some very very intelligent professional women in the breast cancer field who speak in this dvd, and what they have to say is deeply disturbing, even shocking. We are being seriously dumbed down and the breast cancer cure/cause has been hugely commercialized, even hijacked. Not to mention companies involved in the pink ribbon campaign at the same time producing products that cause breast cancer. Less than 5% of the massive funds collected are spent on prevention, there is no accountability or even organization as to where all these funds go or how they are used ( duplication of studies, repetition etc etc) . In 1940 1 in 22 women could expect to get breast cancer , now it is 1 in 8 women, given all the money that has been thrown at run for the cure etc, there is something very wrong with this picture. this DVD will stay with me a long time. I urge people, women in particular to view it. It is only as more people become aware of what is going on that any chance of positive change will happen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. L LaRegina on October 25, 2012
The original breast cancer ribbon was not pink. Charlotte Haley designed a salmon-colored ribbon, her plan to attach five to a card in a direct mail campaign calling attention to the fact that only five percent of the National Cancer Institute budget was spent on prevention of the dreaded illness that had taken women in her family. As the 2011 documentary PINK RIBBONS, INC. reports, corporations that noticed her campaign could not get Haley to let them use her salmon ribbon, as she understood the conflict of interest of business and public concern. To legally steal it, they made the ribbon pink (their marketing-recommended color) so they could use the disease to sell cosmetics, cars, fried chicken, and so on. But the conglomerates did not make their ribbons about prevention, as that would mean they might have to remove carcinogens from their make-up, manufacture non-polluting automobiles, and provide nutritious restaurant food. They want you to race for the cure, as if cancer is inevitable, like death itself.

At times even the ribbon itself falls by the wayside. The notion of the color pink seems enough to link the fight against cancer to whatever it is a company's selling.

Maybe you see the obvious faster than I do. Before viewing PINK RIBBONS, INC., all the pink this and pink that got as far as the back of my mind, where I failed to completely articulate the question, "With all they're spending to promote their support of cancer research, why don't they just send a check instead of telling me I have to buy their yogurt before they'll contribute?" From now on, I will make a point to avoid supporting profit-driven philanthropy.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By c10538 on June 30, 2013
(Spoiler Warning!)

Don't get me wrong. This film is definitely worth watching - no doubt. It brings up a lot of great points. There are times when the anecdotal information is truly valuable, such as the sections that provided the members of a Stage IV cancer support group the opportunity to speak about their experiences. I'm very glad that they included the comments of the Stage IV cancer support group, as it provided a much needed perspective.

There are also times in this film where they embark on a "logic chain" and they actually see it through to its logical conclusion. One good example is when they're talking about rBST and it's possible link to breast cancer. Then they talk about a certain dairy / yogurt company (which shall remain nameless in this review) donating money to breast cancer research, while continuing to use milk from rBST sources in their products. Fortunately, when this "dichotomy" was exposed - and "dichotomy" is a polite way to put it - that dairy/yogurt company stopped using rBST dairy products. In that example, they started out with a premise, and saw it through to its logical conclusion.

However, there are a few too many times in this documentary where that doesn't happen, and the anecdote suffers for lack of solid statistical evidence/analysis to support the original premise of the anecdotal point. One example is where they're talking about the lack of coordination among cancer research projects that are being funded by these fundraising organizations.
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Pink Ribbons, Inc.
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