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Matruism: When Marketing Food Is a Bad Idea

The Breast Cancer Action (BCA) has a campaign called Think Before You Pink, wherein they expose corporations for abusing the pink ribbon use on products for promotional purposes. Originally, this campaign started out criticizing the Komen Foundation because they didn’t feel that the money was going towards research as much as it was touting in their ads. All in all, the BCA organization has done a lot of good in not only exposing corporations for exploiting the pink ribbon, but also going after companies like General Mills in their Yoplait:Put a lid on it campaign demanding that General Mills not use milk from cows that are treated with the rBGH hormone. (Studies show that rBGH can cause health related problems, including breast cancer).

So it’s without a doubt that I am anticipating their campaign against KFC’s new Buckets for the Cure promotion to benefit the Komen Foundation. Fifty cents of every six-piece bucket is going towards breast cancer research and raising awareness with the pink buckets they come in. But perhaps BCA should partner with the American Heart Association and do a joint campaign. After all, you are not going to get breast cancer from eating buckets of fried chicken, but you certainly could risk a heart attack from eating that crap.

Not to mention, KFC launched another heart stopping campaign this week called “Double Down Sandwich”, which according Nicki Gostin at Slash/Food is “an artery-clogging extravaganza that replaces buns with deep-fried chicken filets, with melted cheese and bacon strips in between. It has 540 calories, thirty-two grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.” Hmm, I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound very healthy or yummy to me.

KFC might be trying to improve their image by jumping on the breast cancer funding band wagon, but maybe a flat donation would have been easier. Now they have put themselves at risk for being accosted by writers and health advocates alike who are a little tired of not only the abuse and exploitation of “pink” marketing, but who are more health conscious of what goes into our bodies.

Does anyone think that the marketing folks at KFC should be canned for these ads? I mean really, I know that any publicity is good publicity, but if it decreases revenue, then how can that be good advertising? I am sure that the people in the marketing department know that KFC is not healthy for you, yet they brainstormed on these two ads. So when the marketing people at companies like KFC are promoting things with an altruistic flare that they know are not good for you, shouldn’t that be against the law?