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Consumers Question Intent And Impact Of Breast Cancer Cause Marketing













BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all Americans (92%) believe breast cancer is a critical cause for corporations to support, but just 26 percent feel companies have had a significant positive impact on the issue. Moreover, only half (52%) of consumers believe their individual breast cancer-related purchases make a difference, according to the 2012 Cone Communications Breast Cancer Trend Tracker.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111004/NE79797LOGO)

Buying with SkepticismFor now, supporting the breast cancer cause remains a viable cause marketing strategy for corporations – the "pink" halo effect is enough to prompt consumer purchase and participation. The majority (86%) of consumers report a positive impression of a company or brand that supports the breast cancer cause, and nearly half (45%) of consumers surveyed say they have purchased, or plan to purchase, a breast cancer-related product this October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Although three-quarters (74%) of Americans state they are more likely to purchase a breast cancer-related product or service during October over others, with price and quality being equal, they are becoming desensitized and increasingly skeptical.

  • 77 percent of consumers think some companies support the breast cancer cause solely for corporate gain
  • 68 percent say very few breast cancer cause promotions stand out to them, given the large number of programs in the marketplace
  • 30 percent do not know whether their purchases actually benefit the cause

"Until there is a cure, breast cancer will undoubtedly remain a compelling issue for companies to support," says Alison DaSilva, executive vice president, Cone Communications. "However, companies must take heed as consumers become increasingly skeptical about their intents and impacts. At some point, consumers won't continue to buy pink just out of the goodness of their hearts. They will want to know the return they are having from their participation and purchases."

Consumers Demand ResultsToday's consumers require proof of impact and deeper corporate commitment to the breast cancer cause. Almost all Americans say they want companies and brands to support the breast cancer cause year-round, not just in October (90%), and they wish companies would do a better job of communicating how consumer purchases advance the issue (88%).

Furthermore, consumers want companies to support the cause in substantive ways. Although just 6 percent are content with corporate dollars going toward disease awareness and education, consumers would prefer to see contributions applied toward research for a cure (46%), screenings and prevention (26%) and support for women and families affected by breast cancer (22%).

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