Target: Sherilyn McCoy, CEO of Avon Products
Goal: To get cosmetic company to stop using chemicals linked to breast cancer in its products
Cosmetic company Avon has been celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month for many years by donating a portion of its profits to help find a cure for the disease, in addition to holding walks around the country to raise funds for research and treatment.
However, many of the products that the company sells, including some of the products marketed specifically for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, contain chemicals associated with breast cancer. The company must end its hypocrisy by discontinuing the use of chemicals known to cause cancer in its products.
The company is using its awareness campaign to appeal to consumers by linking its products with finding a cure for breast cancer while simultaneously contributing to causing breast cancer. Avon is not the only company taking advantage of consumers’ generosity; pink products are ubiquitous during Breast Cancer Awareness Month while the amount of money being donated, or even to which organization, is often unclear.
Like any other corporation, the central goal is to encourage consumerism and make money, not to save lives. Other companies that have been criticized for the cancer-causing elements in their products have promised to stop using them, while Avon has not made efforts to discontinue use of these dangerous chemicals.
Breast cancer awareness campaigns such as Avon’s have become excuses to sell products and the goal of saving women’s lives is often forgotten. Even more deplorable than its promotion of consumerism is the use of chemicals that cause the disease the company claims to be trying to eradicate. Avon must join other cosmetic companies that have agreed to stop using cancer-causing chemicals in their products, instead of just using the deadly disease as an excuse to gain customers.
Dear Sherilyn McCoy,
Your company’s Breast Cancer Crusade has raised a considerable amount of money for breast cancer research and treatment through the marketing of pink products and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, for which you should be commended. However, many of your products have been identified to contain chemicals that cause breast cancer, including some of the products sold as part of the breast cancer awareness campaigns.
Avon considers itself a leader in empowering women, but it is hard to be empowered by products that could be contributing to the very disease that the company is trying to cure. Additionally, if the company contributed more of its funds to preventing the disease and finding environmental causes, many more lives would be saved.
I am asking that your company become a real leader in empowering women by ensuring that the products being sold are not causing the disease that kills so many women. Avon must begin an honest fight against breast cancer, and not just a crusade to increase profits for the company.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Koko Nut via Flickr.