February 24, 2014
Kevin Mansell, President and CEO
Kohl’s Department Stores
N56 W17000 Ridgewood Drive
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Dear Mr. Mansell,
Your current Pink Elephant in the Room campaign is a clear infringement of METAvivor’s Elephant in the Pink Room Campaign (www.MBCaware.org) and has done considerable harm to the metastatic breast cancer community and to METAvivor.
The Elephant in the Pink Room is not merely a clever slogan, it represents the core of our work and what we stand for. In our campaign, which originated in 2012, the pink room represents the primary breast cancer community which has more funding, recognition and attention than any other disease. Primary breast cancer is hardly a pink elephant – women cannot escape that breast cancer conversation. The real elephant is metastatic breast cancer, the dark side of breast cancer that no one wants to acknowledge or talk about. As our Elephant in the Pink Room campaign states: “In the ‘pink room’ of the breast cancer conversation there’s an elephant being ignored – we the 30% of patients with breast cancer who metastasize”.
Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV breast cancer, a terminal illness. The US metastatic breast cancer community grows by 73,000 to 86,000 each year, and suffers the loss of more than 40,000 women and men annually. It is the metastatic community that is underserved. It is only people with metastatic disease that die from breast cancer.
The Kohl’s Pink Elephant in the Room Campaign, using much of the same verbiage as our Elephant in the Pink Room, reverses the critical conversation begun by METAvivor in 2012, and undermines the hard-won progress that we have made in raising awareness of metastatic breast cancer.
We were told by a member of your staff to expect a phone call from you on February 21 to discuss this issue. That phone call has still not come. We trust you will make good on the promise to talk to us by contacting METAvivor no later than 5 PM CST on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. If you truly care about breast cancer you will make this right.
Kelly Lange, President
METAvivor Research and Support, Inc.
cc: Judy Salerno, Jen Johnson, Katie Holmes