Kohls thinks it’s 1950.

Kohls campaign is extremely out of touch.

I’m not sure what decade Kohl’s is living in, but it isn’t even in this century.

Walking into Kohl’s on Friday evening, I noticed a huge pink striped elephant in the window with a headline telling me that we need to start talking about the elephant in the room. The elephant? Breast cancer.

Are they nuts? Do they think their audience is nuts?

No one that I know is ashamed to talk about breast cancer. Friends, family and acquaintances have helpfully, freely and honestly shared their diagnosis, treatment and recovery, reaching out for comfort and for support.

Breast cancer is no elephant in the public forum either. Over 1,000 charities fundraise – very publicly – exclusively for breast cancer.  Hundreds of thousands walk each year for breast cancer. In October, breast cancer is practically the only thing seen or heard in advertising; everything is awash in pink. There are pink ribbons, pink socks, pink makeup containers, pink pants, pink Barbies, pink nail polish, pink toasters and mixers, pink toilet paper, pink breath mints and candies, pink athletic shoes, pink NFL gear including football cleats, pink soups, pink candles, pink purses, pink slippers, pink pens, pink yogurt, and, gawd help us – even pink KFC chicken buckets.

Breast cancer is simply not an elephant in the room. Breast cancer is not shameful, embarrassing or even uncomfortable to discuss, either privately or publicly. In truth, the campaign made me angry that Kohls is trying to increase their sales with a campaign that is very clearly manipulative, incredibly disrespectful and patently untrue.

Kohls, if you want a breast cancer fundraising partnership, have at it. But not with a campaign that plays up a ridiculously outdated, ignorant fear that an illness – any kind of illness – is something to be ashamed of.

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