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The Kingston Whig-Standard features Samantha King

By Elliot Ferguson
The Kingston Whig-Standard

Most people have faced the decision at one time or another: the choice between two products — one marked with a pink ribbon.

Many consumers opt for the ribboned product, thinking a portion of the cost will be directed to breast cancer research.

It's been a wildly successful marketing campaign for hundreds of products and has raised millions of dollars.

But where does that money go?

"No one really knows and that is a problem," said Dr. Samantha King of the Queen's University school of kinesiology and health studies. "I've been working on it for over a decade and I don't even know."

King's 2006 book, Pink Ribbons Inc., examined the pink ribbon marketing campaign. The book has been turned into a $1.2-million National Film Board movie documentary set to premiere Sunday night at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The book and movie look critically at the commercialization of the pink ribbon campaign and ask why society is approaching the fight against cancer through shopping.

"I thought at some level it was a fad that would just fade away, but it didn't. It just kept growing and growing and growing," she said.

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