In an 'unprecedented' move, the Hardys Stamp of Australia range will carry Breast Cancer Pink Ribbons as a result of a new partnership with a UK charity.

In the UK, more than 33,000 women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer every year, and more than 1,000 die each month of the disease. One in 10 women are at risk in their lifetime.

Hardys will donate a guaranteed £50,000 (€82,200) a year to the Pink Ribbon Foundation. ‘We expect the final donation to be well into six figures,’ said Christopher Carson, CEO of Hardys Europe, at the launch in London today.

The Pink Ribbon Foundation, established in 1999, supports and raises money for breast cancer charities.

Hardys made clear their primary aim was to contribute to and raise funds for the Pink Ribbon Foundation, but admitted the profile of the brand would be significantly raised.

‘This will increase sales and profits for retailers and licensees and the charity in turn,’ trading development director Adrian McKeon said.

Carson rejected the idea that affiliation to a ‘fashionable’ charity could be seen as a promotional move. ‘We are genuinely trying to raise money to stamp out breast cancer,’ he said, adding that the disease had personally touched his family. ‘We have set a precedent for the wine industry,’ he said.

Hardys is the UK’s most popular brand in bottle shops (the off-trade). Its consumer profile closely matches those most concerned about breast cancer – middle-class women aged 25 to 44 – and there is no danger that men will be turned off by the association.

‘Our research shows that women are 86% more likely to buy a cause-related product. We know that the breast cancer cause does not isolate male consumers as it often touches their lives,’ McKeon said.

From April, Stamp of Australia bottles will have a pink ribbon on their top capsule, and a cigar band round the neck with the words pink ribbon spelt out.

Fund-raising events will include a women-only charity competition in July, a tie-in with London Fashion Week in September, and Breast Awareness Month in October. Posters and advertising will also back the campaign, which will run for at least three years.

Written by Catharine Lowe1 February 2002