No, it’s not a printing error—all 815,000 copies of Metro across the country really are pink today. The stunt is in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and the ad-supported free daily is donating 5% of today’s national advertising revenue to the CBCF (what that amount actually is remains undisclosed, but editions of Metro are also published in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal, and Halifax).
Corporate sponsors are crucial to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, raising awareness and responsible for $10 million in revenue. Every October, CIBC spearheads the annual Run For The Cure signature event, and HBC incorporates its Think Pink program across multiple brands. The companies involved help underwrite event and marketing costs, but also mobilize their employee bases as Run For The Cure teams (teams account for 70% of run donations).
Pink newsprint is striking, but it’s nothing new—in 1893, London’s Financial Times began distribution on peach-coloured paper in order to differentiate itself from competitor Financial News, and both England’s Evening Gazette and India’s Economic Times have also printed on rosy newsprint. Rome’s La Gazzetta dello Sport is pink, and the San Francisco Chronicle and San Diego Tribune once used coloured paper to differentiate their individual sections, though the practice was abandoned because the lower contrast was harder to read and photos didn’t reproduce nicely.
Photo by Marc Lostracco.