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Cancer groups to improve disclosures on pink wares

Associated Press Modified: October 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm •  Published: October 18, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The nation's two largest breast cancer charities have adopted guidelines for fuller disclosure by those selling pink products and services in their names, New York's attorney general said Thursday.

The so-called best practices, adopted by Susan G. Komen For The Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, include having companies disclose the specific amount that will be donated from each purchase. Companies using pink ribbons and similar symbols on products also are expected to state if a purchase triggers a donation or merely calls attention to the cause.

"These best practices, agreed to by the nation's largest breast cancer charities, will help ensure that cause marketing campaigns provide the benefit that's expected, and that we protect consumers, charities and above all, the women and families affected by this devastating disease," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

Other provisions call for the companies to disclose the nature of any in-kind contributions, whether there is a cap on their donation amount and to post on their websites the amount a campaign generated.

Schneiderman's Charities Bureau has been reviewing related "cause marketing" campaigns of nearly 150 companies since last year, finding substantial donations but some confusing information about amounts.

For example, one clothing company's "pink" ad campaigns in 2009 and 2010 said it was making "a cash and in-kind contribution of $250,000" to the Komen program. It turned out the cash donation was $100,000 each year, with $150,000 of in-kind expenses for paying celebrities to appear in the ads.

Andrea Rader, a Komen spokeswoman, said the group worked with the New York attorney general to develop the best practices that it is using nationally.

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