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Thread: Susan G. Komen Foundation - why so d00shy?

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    Susan G. Komen Foundation - why so d00shy?

    Did not know these things. This prolly belongs in the Poli forum but I'm not going there.


    http://jezebel.com/5933245/komen-pre...ing-more-money


    Nancy Brinker, founder, President, and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (which I'm now required to characterize as "embattled") announced yesterday that after years at the helm of the breast cancer charity, she'd be stepping down from her role to focus more on "revenue creation." Two other board members resigned on the same day, and it's not clear who will replace Brinker as she works to convince more people to give her money for the cure.

    The charity's had a disastrous year — at the very end of January, Komen announced that it would be cutting off its grants to Planned Parenthood, angering women's groups, politicians, and fueling a long-whispered theory that the organization cared more about its own image than it did about actual women's health. And in the days after the announcement, it was discovered that, thanks to some highly-placed Komen officials with ideologically extreme agendas, the grant cutoff wasn't procedural, but political. The charity couldn't get its story straight — it first claimed that Planned Parenthood grants had been discontinued because the family planning organization was under Congressional investigation, but when several people pointed out that Planned Parenthood gave money to plenty of organizations and institutions that were under investigation, Nancy Brinker took it upon herself to defend Komen's actions in a series of media appearances that only made her look like Lady Who Lunched who didn't need to fully explain herself to the millions of American women who didn't want to see women's health further politicized.

    Planned Parenthood's funds were eventually restored by the charity, but not before several curiously political Komen stances and questionable practices were brought to light — why had the charity supported embryonic stem cell research in 2006, and disavowed it in 2011? Why did Nancy Brinker, wealthy thanks to a profitable divorce, still earn almost half a million dollars a year and live a lavish, charity-funded lifestyle? How beholden to right-wing political pressure was the organization? And why the hell were they partnering with the dictator of Uzbekistan's socialite pop singer daughter, whose fashion line uses child slave labor? And why did the perfume the charity sold contain carcinogens? And why did the organization refuse to condemn cancer-causing chemicals used by companies that gave them lots of money? And why did they spend so much time suing other, smaller charities?

    Komen officials hoped its Hell Fortnight would end when former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and once and always anti-abortion zealot Karen Handel resigned her executive post at the charity, but public trust was already shaken and in the ensuing months, Komen's fundraising suffered and never recovered. The charity's signature fundraising event, Race for the Cure, lagged in nearly every market. Galas were canceled. Officials in chapters across the country resigned in disappointment. Many critics called for Nancy Brinker to resign if she valued the future of the charity, but there she was, hanging on.

    Until yesterday.

    What pushed Brinker over the edge and prompted her to hand the mess off to another, yet-to-be-named candidate wasn't specified by Brinker's sunny press release about the shake up ("I want to focus on Susan G. Komen's global mission and raising resources to bring our promise to women all around the world."), but I'd venture a guess it had something to do with vocal criticism from the scientific community of Komen's deceptive practices. In a piece published in the British Medical Journal last week, the directors of the Center for Medicine and the Media at Dartmouth Medical School wrote that Komen was flat-out lying to women about the benefits of mammograms (well, the paper used the words "misleading" and "false," which is a less confrontational way to say "lying"). According to Komen literature, 98% of women who detect breast cancer early survive versus the 23% who survive without early detection. One of the authors of the study told Bloomberg,

    We think Komen can do a lot better by giving women the information they need to weigh the benefits and the harms. They aren't doing a good job. The ads are misleading and give false promises.

    Ouch.

    In addition to Brinker's resignation, two other members of the Board stepped down yesterday.

    This debacle will one day make a great lesson in How Not to Handle a PR Snafu; even with Brinker's resignation, it may be too late for Komen to restore the cloying pink sheen to its reputation, though, as the damage has been done.



    this. however, is reprehensible. Older article, but still makes me sick.
    ****ing ****s.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1..._n_793176.html



    In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of "for the cure" in their names.

    So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure--and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.


    "It happened to my family," said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. "They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own 'cure' in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause."

    Donovan's sister, Mary Ann Tighe, said the Komen foundation sent her a letter asking her to stop using the phrase "for a cure" in their title and to never use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising. What bothered her most about the whole ordeal, she said, was that Komen forced her to spend money and time on legal fees and proceedings instead of raising funds for cancer.

    "We were certainly taken aback by it," she told HuffPost. "We have partners running these kite events around the country. What if one of them uses, say, magenta? Is that pink? I mean, where are we going with this? We just want to raise money for cancer. What we don't want is to have our energy misplaced by having our charity partners trying to police the good work that we're doing."

    Sue Prom, who started a small dog sledding fundraiser for breast cancer called "Mush for the Cure" in Grand Marais, Minn., said she was shocked to hear from Komen's lawyers this summer asking that she change the name of her event or face legal proceedings.

    "I had to call the trademark helpline, because I had no idea what I was doing," said Prom, who runs the annual sled race with her husband and friend. "We pay for the expenses out of our pockets, and we've never personally made a dime from it. We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, domain names, posters, stationery, all with 'Mush for the Cure' on it. What do we do with all the materials now? How are we gonna defend ourselves? We're not like Komen."


    Prom said she's been running the event for six years, and the most she has raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation is $25,000. Before the NBCF could accept the money, they warned her to file for a trademark to protect her event legally against the Komen Foundation. But now that Komen has opposed Mush's trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Prom is looking for a pro bono lawyer to help her figure out what to do next.

    "I think it's a shame," she said. "It's not okay. People don't give their money to the Komen Foundation and they don't do their races and events so that Komen can squash any other fundraising efforts by individuals. That's not what it's about."

    Komen's general counsel, Jonathan Blum, told HuffPost that the fundraising powerhouse tries to be reasonable when dealing with small charities and nonprofits, but that it has a legal duty to protect its more than 200 registered trademarks.

    "It's never our goal to shut down a nonprofit," he said, "and we try very hard to be reasonable, but it's still our obligation to make sure that our trademarks are used appropriately so there's no confusion in the marketplace over where people's money is going."

    Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a "very small part" of Komen's budget, but according to Komen's financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.

    "I think it's important that charities protect their brand, but on the other hand, I don't think the donors' intent in giving their money was to fund a turf war," said Sandra Minuitti, a spokesperson for Charity Navigator. "It's very important that Komen treads carefully and is very transparent about how they're spending money on these legal battles."

    Michael Mercanti, an intellectual property lawyer, said he is surprised by the large number of oppositions Komen has filed against other charities--a number he would expect from a company like Toys"R"Us or McDonalds, but not a charitable fundraising organization.

    "They seem to be very aggressive in policing their mark, or what they're claiming to be their mark," he told HuffPost. "I guess there are a lot of ways to captain a ship, but it seems like there are ways they could protect and police their trademarks and also allow other charities to coexist."

    Mercanti said filing hundreds of oppositions is not only damaging to other charities, but could also be counterproductive for Komen's brand.

    "They could actually be seen as being a bully," he said. "They're going to alienate some donors who don't appreciate them stepping on smaller, worthwhile charities."

    With the help of a team of pro bono lawyers, Kites for a Cure was able to reach a settlement with Komen: They agreed to only use the phrase "for a Cure" in conjunction with the words "lung cancer" to make the distinction clear. But Tighe said they reached a settlement only after many, many months of a free legal team working long hours each day.

    "We were very fortunate because we had strong support from knowledgeable pro bono counsel, but it did seem like a misdirection of a lot of people's energy," she told HuffPost. "I don't know what smaller organizations do without free representation."

    Sue Prom said Tighe has already put her in touch with her pro bono legal team, and she is prepared to fight for the name of her sledding event in court. The ordeal has changed her opinion of Komen.

    "I used to give money to Komen all the time, but now I'm just kind of wary of them," she said. "I'm not buying Yoplait yogurt or anything that has the word 'Komen' on it. They seem to have forgotten what charity is about."

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    "I'm not buying Yoplait yogurt or anything that has the word 'Komen' on it. They seem to have forgotten what charity is about."
    This pretty much sums it up.

    Komen has strayed so far from their mission and seem far more concerned with promoting their brand than with actually fighting breast cancer. They have clear political and social agendas, and it's sad because they have the power to do so much.

    They will NEVER get another penny from me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMikeIsHot View Post
    This pretty much sums it up.

    Komen has strayed so far from their mission and seem far more concerned with promoting their brand than with actually fighting breast cancer. They have clear political and social agendas, and it's sad because they have the power to do so much.

    They will NEVER get another penny from me.
    I'm sure that's where the NFL is giving all of their money to as well.
    The fact that they would legally threaten smaller, groundroots charities is reprehensible to me - even more so because money donated probably goes to their scum-lapping ****bag lawyers.


    Edit: NFL monies goes to the American Cancer Society. whew

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    Sadly, the more successful a charity comes the more likely they veer of course.

    same thing happened to MADD.

    Money....changes everything.

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    Fishooked turning a possible breast cancer awareness thread into a pornographic exhibition didn't help either

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    I similarly stopped giving money to Autism Speaks once I learned how much went to their executives, marketing etc.

    Colorectal cancer is another type that is extremely treatable if detected early, same for prostate and cervical. All three pale in comparison to breast cancer in both awareness and diagnosing.

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    Breast cancer schmest pantser?


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    I'm sure that's where the NFL is giving all of their money to as well.
    The fact that they would legally threaten smaller, groundroots charities is reprehensible to me - even more so because money donated probably goes to their scum-lapping ****bag lawyers.


    Edit: NFL monies goes to the American Cancer Society. whew
    Are you serious?

    It's basic name protection. Either you protect it legally, or you lose any protections you had. Everyone, company, non-profit, charity, or otherwise, does this.

    I know this is the internet, but some days I'm shocked how little basic professional knowledge is applied here.

    I'll TLDR it. Go to work Tuesday, and ask your company CEO if he/she would not protect their company name from infringement. If he/she says yes, they would protect it, call him//her a "reprehensible" person who just wants to give money to "sumbag lawyers", and let us know how that works out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Are you serious?

    It's basic name protection. Either you protect it legally, or you lose any protections you had. Everyone, company, non-profit, charity, or otherwise, does this.

    I know this is the internet, but some days I'm shocked how little basic professional knowledge is applied here.

    I'll TLDR it. Go to work Tuesday, and ask your company CEO if he/she would not protect their company name from infringement. If he/she says yes, they would protect it, call him//her a "reprehensible" person who just wants to give money to "sumbag lawyers", and let us know how that works out.
    No, are you serious?

    Did you even read the link I posted?
    I'm shocked you're not appalled by this. I'm shocked that everyone isn't.

    Susan G. Komen foundation only spends 15% of all of their donations on actual cancer research.

    15%.


    And spending the rest on high priced lawyers, and brand protection, is ok you with?


    So you don't have a problem with someone in your town starting a grassroots fundraiser for a llittle kid with leukemia that just might happened to be called 'Cookies For A Cure', only to have the whole thing shut down by Susan G. Dooshabgs lawyers because they have unknowingly used the words 'for the cure' in the little/ That would be ok with you? And no one is allowed to use the color pink, either?

    How can an organization 'own' a color? You're the last person I would have expected to side with a large corporation. much less one with a dooshy track record in recent years.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    No, are you serious?

    I'm shocked you're not appalled by this. I'm shocked that everyone isn't.

    Susan G. Komen foundation only spends 15% of all of their donations on actual cancer research.

    15%.

    And spending the rest on high priced lawyers, and brand protection, is ok you with?

    Yes, I am serious.

    No, it doesn't bother me (I don't donate to them).

    Yes, I'm 100% supportive of the usual business of brand protection that every organization engages in.

    So you don't have a problem with someone in your town starting a grassroots fundraiser for a llittle kid with leukemia that just might happened to be called 'Cookies For A Cure', only to have the whole thing shut down by Susan G. Dooshabgs lawyers because they have unknowingly used the words 'for the cure' in the little/ That would be ok with you? And no one is allowed to use the color pink, either?
    No, I don't have a problem with brand protections, as stated.

    Pink, the color, cannot legally be owned/protected the same way.

    How can an organization 'own' a color? You're the last person I would have expected to side with a large corporation. much less one with a dooshy track record in recent years.
    They can't own a color, it's a strawman argument. It court, they would lose if their argument was that they own "pink".

    What they can own is a combination of the color and a specific logo.

    For example, I can have an "M" as my logo. I cannot have a big rounded yellow "M" that is 99.9% the same as McDonalds.

    End of the day, don't like it, don't donate. Seems strait forward enough.

    (I feel like we're having the intellectual property/e-pirating discussion all over again....where stealing is ok as long as it's online, or for a good cause, or you know, nets me some cool stuff).

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    No, this is completely different.

    This is about people with good intentions trying to raise money for cancer, and I'm sure the last thing these people would need to think about is 'I wonder if my slogan is going to be the target of trademark violation".

    People wasting their own personal time and energy dealing with lawyers (both which would be better spent on actual fund raising efforts) from a giant corporation over an unintentional mistake is just wrong.


    These people are just trying to make a difference, life & death The Komen people have seemed to forgotten all about that, for them its all about their own image and dollar signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    No, this is completely different.

    This is about people with good intentions trying to raise money for cancer, and I'm sure the last thing these people would need to think about is 'I wonder if my slogan is going to be the target of trademark violation".

    People wasting their own personal time and energy dealing with lawyers (both which would be better spent on actual fund raising efforts) from a giant corporation over an unintentional mistake is just wrong.


    These people are just trying to make a difference, life & death The Komen people have seemed to forgotten all about that, for them its all about their own image and dollar signs.
    Don't fall for Warfish, Hooked. He's just being contrarian.

    There's no possible way that anyone would/could be cool with a charity acting like Apple Corp and shutting down small, community charities over the use of the phrase "for the cure".

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Don't fall for Warfish, Hooked. He's just being contrarian.

    There's no possible way that anyone would/could be cool with a charity acting like Apple Corp and shutting down small, community charities over the use of the phrase "for the cure".
    I think Warfish's comments are consistent with his long standing tradition of always removing emotion from the equation.

    He is right of course that its well within their rights to protect their brand, but they run a risk of creating ill will which could hurt them in the long run. Either through coming off as a bully or having folks begin to not the money spent on lawyers.

    Yes, by all means they have the right, but it doesn't mean they should necessarily do it.

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    I'm my biggest charity and I abuse my donations

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    This is about people with good intentions trying to raise money for cancer, and I'm sure the last thing these people would need to think about is 'I wonder if my slogan is going to be the target of trademark violation".
    Violation is violation.

    **** sake, how hard is it to not use someone elses protected name or images?

    You so easily just glance over it, because it's not your property or image to protect.

    Again, I'll say it, ask your compnay CEO if they'd just let it slide, you know, for a good cause. Be sure to post his/her answer for the lols.

    These people are just trying to make a difference, life & death The Komen people have seemed to forgotten all about that, for them its all about their own image and dollar signs.
    Then don't donate to them? I certainly don't (Prostate Cancer is worse, kills more, and gets 1/100000th the attention, thats what I'd donate to.....**** brown colored gloves and hats day isn't on the NFL agenda apparently).

    While you're at it, start your own titty charity, see if you can do better, since you're clearly an expert on the inner workings and budgets for charitable organizations.
    Last edited by Warfish; 10-07-2012 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Violation is violation.

    **** sake, how hard is it to not use someone elses protected name or images?

    You so easily just glance over it, because it's not your property or image to protect.

    Again, I'll say it, ask your compnay CEO if they'd just let it slide, you know, for a good cause. Be sure to post his/her answer for the lols.



    Then don't donate to them? I certainly don't (Prostate Cancer is worse, kills more, and gets 1/100000th the attention, thats what I'd donate to.....**** brown colored gloves and hats day isn't on the NFL agenda apparently).

    While you're at it, start your own titty charity, see if you can do better, since you're clearly an expert on the inner workings and budgets for charitable organizations.

    So protecting their brand by bullying smaller organizations and individuals will somehow help their reputation? Is it really worth it? I'd say not.
    I think they would say so too at this point.


    Edit: I'm not wasting any more time trying to come with a response to someone who just likes to argue. There are plenty of other topics and people to go get outraged about.
    Last edited by Fishooked; 10-07-2012 at 07:04 PM.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    Clearly you have been the victim of some type of copyright violation on the internet, because you take so readily to the sword of 'infringement' any chance you get.

    Things are not always as black & white as you conveniently like to portray them for your own arguments.
    Why would my portrayal be "convenient"? I have no horse in the Komen race, as stated.

    IP protection is 100% "black and white".

    They own an intellectual property. You're (seemingly) angry that they protect it wil money they've received in donations instead of abandoning their intellectual property on an "as per Fishooked good cause" basis. You apparently do not and will not understand that a conscious failure to protect IP often equals abandonment of IP, pretty much, thus voiding ownership of that intellectual property and opening use to others as they, not you, see fit.

    What is it you want, exactly, Hooked?

    You have the facts, it's up to you to donate or not. Being "outraged" about it is silly, as most charities (you'll find) operate in exactly the same way.

    And no, I've never been a victim of IP theft, but I have been involved a few times in protecting certain IP. It's serious business, same as most, and it's not something any legitimate group/business of any kind would "just let it go" for kicks as you appear, best as I can tell, to desire.

    So when it comes down to brass tacks, what is your desire here old friend, what do you want to see happen? Simply for them to not protect their IP, and thus spend that money instead of cancer research?

    EDIT: Sorry you feel it was a waste of time. I see you completely re-wrote the post, but meh, not going to go back and re-write mine to suit.

    In any event, to prove we're still cool (on my end), I present you this gift of a hot girl picture. Enjoy.

    Last edited by Warfish; 10-07-2012 at 07:20 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post

    No, I don't have a problem with brand protections, as stated.

    Pink, the color, cannot legally be owned/protected the same way.



    They can't own a color, it's a strawman argument. It court, they would lose if their argument was that they own "pink".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_Blue

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