Friday, November 11, 2011
In connnection with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a number of companies promise to benefit breast cancer charities with the sale of their products and services. The NY Attorney General has directed the Charities Bureau to send questionnaires to companies and charities to ask about these cause marketing campaigns, to determine whether money was reaching the charities. The Attorney General seeks to protect both consumers and charities, both by shutting down sham fundraising campaigns and through education for consumers. In June, the AG sued to shut down the Coalition Against Breast Cancer, a sham charity, and in August, two defendants pleaded guilty to criminal charges for misusing more than $500,000 donated to the phony charity. The AG provides "tips" to consumers on its website, to guide consumers in making wise choices when buying products or services in response to cause marketing. For the AG's press release explaining the concern, go here.