Thursday, April 22, 2010

KFC fights breast cancer

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has partnered with KFC who will be selling pink buckets of fried, factory farmed chickens to raise money to fight breast cancer. What? Say again?!

What a sick, convoluted joke. Whatever next? The Pope promoting paedophilia? Oh.. wait..

"When a company purports to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribboned product, but manufactures products that are linked to the disease, we call that pinkwashing."

Having taken action on Breast Cancer Action I received a really nice, personal auto-reply below:

"Thank you for your e-mail to us - we do appreciate you taking the time to tell us how you feel about this partnership. You should know that our partnership with KFC is designed to help reach millions of women we might not otherwise reach with breast health education and awareness messages which we consider critical to our mission. This additional outreach is made possible through KFC's 5,300 restaurants (about 900 of them in communities not yet served by a Komen Affiliate). This partnership also helps us to generate funding toward the $1.5 billion in research and community programs that Komen has funded over 30 years - programs that are literally saving women's lives through better treatments and early detection.

Our partnership focuses on healthy options at KFC - grilled chicken and vegetables, for example. Ultimately, we believe that the decision to maintain a well-balanced diet lies in the hands of the consumer. KFC provides tools to make those choices, by providing a healthy choice menu and advice on its website on how consumers can limit fat and calorie consumption in its products.

We appreciate your concern and thank you for sharing it with us.

Very truly yours,

Margo K. Lucero
Director, Global Corporate Relations
Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r)

Is that the world's biggest cop-out? I almost replied with "What a load of bollocks."

But instead responded a little more politely (ok, not THAT polite, it was hard).

"Thank you Margo for your auto-reply.

Doesn't your partnership include pink buckets of deep fried, factory farmed, antibiotic laden chickens - which is incredibly unhealthy? Consumer choice? Why don't you just stop promoting junk food? How about NOT marketing and raising the profile of a despicable company who is all about profit, for whom clearly the health of their consumers is the last of their concerns.

The 'health education' you are putting out there, (particularly among lower-socioeconomic groups who already have a higher occurrence of health problems), is, and you know this, that it's ok to eat KFC cos, "Look! They support breast cancer research and any credible and responsible breast cancer cure group couldn't possibly jump into bed with someone who is causing the very problem so this fried chicken must be ok, right?" I'm guessing you aren't adding a health warning on the KFC products educating them and raising awareness, critical to your mission, that eating these items will increase your risk of numerous diseases, never mind breast cancer?

You're obviously not stupid so please don't humour me and pretend you don't know that this is a disgusting and hypocritical partnership. Whatever next? Tobacco companies jumping into bed with lung cancer cure groups? Buy this cheap bottle of plonk and we will donate 5c to Alcoholics Anonymous? Weightwatchers at McDonalds? Oh.. wait....

Perhaps, you will raise a nice sum from this campaign, but at whose expense? All the people who have now 'learnt' that eating KFC is a 'responsible and healthy' choice. If you cared about the Cure, you would not be partnering with someone who is contributing to the cause.

How about a little integrity?


Niki Haines

Every pink bucket purchase will do more to benefit KFC's bottom line than it will to cure breast cancer. Head over to Breast Cancer Action and get them to rethink this partnership.


  1. i can't believe this partnership! thank you, thank you for your letters to the foundation. really, just absolutely absurd.

  2. GREAT letter, I love it!

  3. Thanks guys. No reply from dear Margo this time. But really, what is there she could possibly say anyway that doesn't reek of hypocrisy?