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Ribbons Should Fund Donations, Not Just Raise Awareness!

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Sponsor: The Diabetes Site

Awareness ribbons on merchandise do not necessarily mean the company is donating to research or charity!

When consumers see a diabetes awareness ribbon on a product, the message seems clear: buying this product will help a good cause. However, that isn't always the case1. Some companies use the awareness ribbon as a ploy to get consumers to buy their products without actually making any donations2.

Because the diabetes 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 between3.

Products with diabetes awareness ribbons should do more than just raise awareness. People are already aware of the existence of diabetes. What this cause needs is not more awareness but more donations! If diabetes is ever going to be stopped, we need to fund research to cure it4!

If companies that make and sell merchandise with diabetes awareness ribbons were required to donate a portion of their proceeds to diabetes 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 cause5.

Sign the petition and 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!

More on this issue:

  1. Diabetes Advocacy, "What is the symbol for diabetes?."
  2. Daniel Borochoff, Charity Watch (1 August 2003), "Supreme Court Rules that Fundraisers Who Don't Lie Can Pocket 85% of Donations."
  3. Azure Aster, (2 November 2013), "Creating An Awareness Ribbon Campaign And Awareness Ribbon Info."
  4. Diabetes UK, "is there a cure for diabetes?."
  5. Better Corporation (27 April 2022), "What is Cause Marketing? (AKA Donating a Portion of Your Proceeds)."
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The Petition:

To the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Affairs,

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

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

We deserve to know where our money is going! It is time to force companies who portray diabetes 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.


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