Lauder’s BCA Campaign Marks 20-Year Milestone

Breast cancer ad

The 2012 BCA Campaign

In celebration of its 20-year war waged against breast cancer and in commemoration of the life and legacy of Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign founder Evelyn Lauder, The Estée Lauder Companies will introduce myriad localized, digital and grassroots initiatives this month as part of its unceasing efforts to obliterate the disease.

On October 1, William Lauder, executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, made the rounds with Lauder spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley to promote the new campaign, whose theme is, “Courage. Believe in a world without breast cancer. Know we’re here until it’s true.” In its 20 years, the BCA Campaign has raised over $35 million to fund over 140 medical research grants.

“Research has shown that within our lifetimes, if clinicians continue to treat the disease at the rate that they have, it can become a thing of the past,” Mr. Lauder said. He also noted that, being an illness with such ubiquity, the campaign has become a vital part of Lauder’s
corporate culture and an initiative that “has really rallied our employees and become something that they take great pride in.”


The Estée Lauder Companies’ Maureen Case and William Lauder at the NYSE.

To start the day, Mr. Lauder rang the opening bell
at the New York Stock Exchange alongside several colleagues from the company who have been touched by the disease—as well as four researchers whose grants have been underwritten by Lauder through The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

Next, Mr. Lauder and Ms. Hurley visited the Empire State Building to illuminate the iconic tower in bright pink lights. (Evelyn Lauder launched BCA’s Global Landmark Illuminations Initiative in 2000 and, in 2010, set a Guinness World Record for “Most Landmarks Illuminated for a Cause in 24 Hours.”)

“When Evelyn Lauder began this work twenty years ago,” Ms. Hurley said, “it was her dream to be put out of business.” Looking back on her work across the globe alongside Ms. Lauder, Ms. Hurley said she most vividly remembers all the cancer fighters and survivors she’s met along the way—most especially a group of young women who turned up to an appearance in Canada wearing bright, bravely garish wigs.


William Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley illuminate the Empire State Building alongside Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and Malkin Holdings’ Tony Malkin.

At the Empire State Building, the company was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg declaring October 1 “The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Day.” Other illuminations this year will include noted landmarks in Shanghai, London, Paris, Milan, the Philippines, Dubai, Los Angeles and more.

Finally, that evening, the duo was joined by Marisa Thalberg, Lauder’s vice president of global corporate digital marketing, to unveil an
interactive exhibition fête-ing the anniversary of the cause stationed outside of the GM Building. Free and open to the public from October 1-3, the exhibition featured archival videos, photographs and articles showcasing the campaign’s most meaningful milestones and impactful accomplishments over the years.

Ms. Thalberg also noted that this year’s campaign will have a prominent digital component on Facebook, whose timeline feature aligns perfectly with the campaign’s own 20th anniversary and retrospective positioning. The BCA Campaign will donate $1.00 for every post on during the month of October (up to a maximum of $25,000.)

“If the idea of the campaign is awareness and generating a conversation that didn’t exist before, social media is really made for social causes,” Ms. Thalberg explained. She added that the interactive timeline and Twitter hashtag #BCA20 (from which Tweets are then culled to
the Facebook feed) creates a global movement—from Zimbabwe to Afghanistan—and “helps create one community from isolated parts of the world.” Alternative initiatives are taking place in China, she noted, where Facebook is illegal.

Rose Gill Hearn and William Lauder with
the proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg.
The Estée Lauder Companies’ Elizabeth Hurley and Marisa Thalberg inside the exhibition. The interactive exhibition stationed outside
of the GM building.

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