from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The practice of a company using support of breast cancer-related charities to promote itself and its products or services.
  • n. The practice of presenting something, particularly a state, as gay-friendly in order to soften or downplay aspects of its reputation considered negative.
  • v. Present participle of pinkwash.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of pink and whitewashing.


  • By 2010 the word "pinkwashing" was already in general use by queer anti-occupation activists.

    Sarah Schulman: A Documentary Guide to Pinkwashing

  • QUIT, an actual queer organization, used the word "pinkwashing" in their campaign to counter the cynical use by the Israeli government, through its Brand Israel remarketing project, to use the presence of LGBT society in Israel as "proof" of its commitment to human rights.

    Sarah Schulman: A Documentary Guide to Pinkwashing

  • In April 2010 the Bay-Area organization QUIT Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism used the word "pinkwashing" as a twist on "greenwashing," when companies claim to be eco-friendly in order to make profit.

    Sarah Schulman: A Documentary Guide to Pinkwashing

  • They derisively call the embrace of gay culture "pinkwashing" - a conscious attempt to play down what they call violations of Palestinian human rights by Israel behind an image of tolerance.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • There were accusations of "pinkwashing," meaning an unhealthy product trying to improve its image by giving to breast cancer-related efforts.

    The Most Imaginative CSR Ad Campaigns

  • One breast cancer advocacy group, Breast Cancer Action, thinks the Komen/KFC campaign is so egregious that they call it "pinkwashing," another sad example of commercialism draped in pink ribbons.

    John Robbins: Greed, Cancer and Pink KFC Buckets

  • It's called "pinkwashing" or "pink nausea", when corporations try to boost sales by turning their products pink in the fight against breast cancer.

    Halle Tecco: Brace Yourself for Pink Overload

  • As a breast cancer survivor, I've seen many tasteless examples of "pinkwashing" over the years.


  • While several media outlets have chastised the chain for working to promote breast cancer awareness while selling a less-than-healthy product, Breast Cancer Action -- a group that bills itself as step further, accusing KFC of "pinkwashing," which it says occurs "when a company purports to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink-ribboned product, but manufactures products that are linked to the disease."


  • I wrote an article a couple of years ago about pinkwashing.

    Good riddance to Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Alternative use of the term.

    July 6, 2010

  • That, reesetee, is decidedly horkworthy. (Apologies to mollusque for using that word, but I use it advisedly.)

    May 14, 2010

  • Amen to that. I drew the line when I went to my favorite bagel shop and they had (wait for it) pink bagels.

    I never quite trusted them after that.

    May 14, 2010

  • I'll have no truck with such products. Buying a Diet Coke over a Diet Pepsi because they'll give one penny out of $1,000 to breast cancer research doesn't make any sense and just pisses me off. I guess it's better than nothing, and does "raise awareness" (a phrase I hate), but I'd rather give my $1.50 to breast cancer research and skip the stupid product in the first place.

    May 4, 2010

  • Was it breast cancer awareness month, perhaps?

    May 4, 2010

  • Reminds of my girlfriend's washing machine in Italy a few years ago. Even if you weren't washing anything red, white things usually came out pink. It was quite odd.

    May 3, 2010

  • "Pinkwashing is a term used for unhealthy products that go pink for a short time, usually during breast cancer awareness month. The companies slap a pink ribbon on the product’s packaging and promise to donate a small fraction to breast cancer research." --"Curing Cancer with Fried Chicken?",

    May 2, 2010