Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dear Pandora: Think Before You Pink

This being October, we seem inundated with corporations and sports teams acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Just before our trip down to Disney World, I received this email from the company that makes Pandora jewellery with a special offer of a free pink bracelet with a $100 purchase and a note that "a percentage of proceeds from the retail price of select charms, necklaces and pendants benefits the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation..."

Of course, I'm not asking you to rush down to Pandora. I'm not advertizing, I'm asking you to think, before you pink. As you know, I too support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and I encouraged you to support it through my participation in the Run for the Cure. My concern about Pandora's support is that the company doesn't tell us how much it is donating for each purchase. Some companies give a set amount and our individual pink purchases don't raise the amount. Pandora gives an amount per purchase. However, it isn't specific about which products trigger a donation, nor what is the percentage of proceeds donated. That bothered me.

Farther down, you will see my email to Pandora asking the company to take this opportunity to provide more information for those of us who think before we pink.

As I mention in my email, for my birthday last fall, just after my diagnosis, Sweetie and the Bean bought me a Pandora bracelet with a pink ribbon charm. The bracelet has become a special way for our family to commemorate our life together -- my favourites are the soccer ball and the teapot. I like the Pandora products. But wouldn't it be nice if Pandora took an extra step towards transparency in its support for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by providing details on how much it gives from which purchases. I've asked them to do it.

And I ask you to think, before you pink.

PANDORA Club <pandora@club.pandora.net>
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, October 1, 2012 4:18:03 PM
Subject: Receive a Pink PANDORA Bracelet during October

My jewelleryMy wishlistMY DESIGNSMY STORES

Show Your Support Against Breast Cancer with PANDORA
Dear Katherine,

There are many ways to show your support in the fight against Breast Cancer, and none are as beautiful as our charms. For the entire month of October, when you purchase $100 or more of PANDORA jewellery, you’ll receive one of our pink leather bracelets* (a $50 retail value).
A percentage of proceeds from the retail price of select charms, necklaces and pendants benefits the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s vision of creating a future without breast cancer. Visit cbcf.org for more information.

* See participating stores for details. Good while supplies last. Limit one per customer. Find your nearest PANDORA retailer by clicking here.
Kind regards,
Pandora Club

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: "CAConsumer@PANDORA.net" <CAConsumer@PANDORA.net>

Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:40:19 AM
Subject: Re: Receive a Pink PANDORA Bracelet during October

I appreciate the support Pandora is offering to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through this offer, however your company could be more transparent about it's actual level of support. More and more, women like myself with breast cancer are encouraging our friends and family to "think before they pink." 

What I mean is that before purchasing the obiquitous pink merchandise, we should inform ourselves about what exactly our purchase is supporting. It is helpful that you have been clear that you are supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Consumers can easily confirm that this is a legitimate charity which publishes information about its administrative and fundraising costs, as well as it's major areas of spending. But how much is Pandora providing? From your email, I don't know if Pandora is giving five cents per charm or something more significant. I don't know if your donation is capped or if when I spend more, you really give more.

If you take a look at recent postings in social media, you can learn about the growing concern about the "pinkification" of breast cancer. From there, Pandora has an opportunity to improve the nature of its support. It would be very much appreciated by the breast cancer community, and particularly by me. Pinkification has given many North Americans the impression that a breast cancer diagnosis is the entrée to a happy club. Don't let your company be fooled. There is no cure for advanced breast cancer. I too support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation because it supports research that may find the cure that will save my life.

Last October, I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. A month later, on my birthday, my husband and young daughter bought me my first Pandora bracelet, with a pink ribbon charm. If Pandora would take this opportunity to be more transparent about what it is donating, or has donated, to the Foundation, I would wear my bracelet with even more pride.

Thank you for considering my request.

Katherine Moynihan
(see my Kate Has Cancer blog at http://katebreastcancer.blogspot.ca/)


  1. I like your blog, my mom is fighting breast cancer too.

    1. Thank you, Elena, and welcome to the blog. I hope your mom is feeling well. I am sure your support means the world to her. ~Kate

  2. Please see Pandora's clear and prompt response:

    From: Canada Consumer
    To: xxxx; PANDORA Club ; Canada Consumer
    Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:29:29 AM
    Subject: RE: Receive a Pink PANDORA Bracelet during October

    We understand and recognize that the decisions made by many charitable organizations directly impacts the desire to purchase these ”pink” products. PANDORA has a social commitment to supporting charitable purposes that inspire individuality and improve the lives of women around the world.

    As part of this, we are engaged in a number of activities throughout the world, united in the fight against breast cancer. We have been a partner of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation because we believe that their dedicated effort in this field is an important contribution with the potential to save lives. PANDORA has raised millions of dollars globally for research and specifically donates 5% of the purchase price of all breast cancer awareness charms sold in Canada to the CBCF.

    As always, we appreciate your passion for PANDORA and share your enthusiasm and commitment to women's welfare, and we will continue to support organizations that have the greatest impact on women's lives.

    Kind Regards
    Courtney Brantley
    Consumer Affairs Associate

    Pandora Jewelry LLC
    8671 Robert Fulton Drive
    Columbia, MD 21046

    Tel.:(410) 309-0200

    Fax:(410) 309-0250



  3. Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful! Swarovski website

  4. November 23 2016,
    Pandora no longer supports CBCA . No breast cancer charms this year , so therefore the 5% does not get donated .
    They have retired all the other breast cancer charms . What are they doing now ? As a survivor I know how important it is to have any support . My breast cancer sisters who are angels in disguise ,who have had their lives changed forever deserve small pleasures like a breast cancer a charm .