Alzheimer's Awareness Ribbons Should Fund Donations, Not Just "Raise Awareness!"

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Sponsor: The Alzheimer's Site

The presence of awareness ribbons on merchandise does not necessarily mean the company is donating to research or charity.


When consumers see a purple Alzheimer's awareness ribbon on a product, the message seems clear: buying this product will help a good cause. However, that isn't always the case. Some companies use the awareness ribbon as a ploy to get consumers to buy their products without actually making any donations, claiming to help the cause simply by "raising awareness" [1]. Those who do donate to charities often give a pre-set amount that is not effected by sales [2], and many companies fail to state how much of the proceeds they donate and to which charities [3].

Because the Alzheimer's awareness ribbon is not trademarked, that status allows anyone and everyone to use the symbol for whatever purpose they want, whether it be pure profit, pure charity, or somewhere in between [4].

One in ten people over the age of 65 (or roughly 5.5 million Americans) has Alzheimer's or dementia. Alzheimer's deaths have increased by 89 percent since 2000, and we are still no closer to curing the disease than we were then [5].

Products with Alzheimer's awareness ribbons should do more than just raise awareness. People are already aware of the existence of Alzheimer's. What this cause needs is not more awareness but more donations! If Alzheimer's is ever going to be stopped, we need to fund research to cure it!

If companies that make and sell merchandise featuring purple Alzheimer's awareness ribbons were required to donate a certain portion of their proceeds to Alzheimer’s research, we could do a better job of treating or even curing this disease and stop tricking unsuspecting shoppers into purchasing items they believe will help a good cause.

Tell the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection that companies who use awareness ribbons on their merchandise should be required to donate to the cause they're representing on their products!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Cenicola, T. (2016, September 30). Skip the breast cancer awareness gimmicks and donate directly - The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/09/30/skip-breast-cancer-awareness-gimmicks-and-donate-directly/tYdiPJhB3OtVTdIYgpudaI/story.html

[2] McCarthy, A. (2014, May 12). Pinkwashing: The Truth Behind Breast Cancer Awareness Products. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from https://www.bustle.com/articles/7169-pinkwashing-the-truth-behind-breast-cancer-awareness-products

[3] 4 Questions Before You Buy Pink. (n.d.). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/resources/before-you-buy/

[4] Stiehl, C. (2016, October 26). We Need a Different Kind of Awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from https://www.thrillist.com/health/nation/pinkwashing-october-breast-cancer-awareness-month-2016

[5] Latest Alzheimer's Facts and Figures. (2016, March 29). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://www.alz.org/facts/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwwqXMBRCD1afDldbp5qEBEiQAP4BDaM9UwIVJWkKfMESEPthBQy3WBYUn9Ueqp8nBycSJwvUaAk2q8P8HAQ

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The Petition:

To the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection,

Every day, people go shopping and see products with Alzheimer's awareness ribbons plastered all over them. While the consumer often believes that purchasing these purple products will help fund research for a cure, that is far too often not the case!

Alzheimer's already has plenty of awareness. What it really needs is funding! And people count on the Alzheimer's awareness ribbon to help create that funding.

We deserve to know where our money is going! It is time to force companies who portray Alzheimer's awareness ribbons on their products to donate a portion of their proceeds to research.

I demand legislation to protect the American people from being tricked into purchases they believe will help a good cause but actually only benefit sly and greedy companies.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: