Today my coworkers and I listened to a seminar about “Brandraising” for non profit organizations. A brand is what distinguishes one entity from another. Logos, philanthropy, and personal interaction help build a brand while client dissatisfaction, inconsistencies in marketing, and bad stewardship can decimate an organization’s brand. The seminar sparked a discussion on the topic of the Pink Bucket Campaign.
It is no secret that cancer and obesity are related, in fact the National Cancer Institute has published research that obesity accounts for over 25% of the major cancer cases (like breast and colon cancer)*. And the link between Kentucky Fried Chicken and obesity is no secret either: an average KFC bucket contains 2560 calories, 120 grams of fat, and 6 grams of sodium**. So why has the global leader in the breast cancer movement suddenly struck a partnership with a company saturated in fat?
Susan G Komen for the Cure is a non-profit organization synonymous with corporate sponsorship. For the corporations’ philanthropy raises brand image, and the non profit gets a big fat check. However, the recent partnership between KFC and Komen has received a cornucopia of negative press. Nonprofit blogs such as Selfish Giving and Getting Attention! have slammed Komen for “cause dissonance”- sacrificing organization values for money.
To be fair to KFC, it has promised at the very least a million dollar donation, with a goal to donate 8 million at the end of the campaign; the single largest donation to a breast cancer cause. Chips, soda, cookies, and candy bars can contribute to obesity as well. But Komen’s other corporate sponsorship with companies as Frito Lay, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Peppridge Farm, and Mars Snackfood have yet to endure the criticism that the Pink Bucket Campaign has faced.
What do you think? Should Komen have entered this partnership with KFC? Is Komen under fire because the partnership with KFC is the most visible and ambitious campaign they have ever undertaken? Or is it truly just about the chicken? Most importantly, are you going to buy a Pink Bucket?