Cartier, the maker of luxury goods, is pretending to help research on cancer through a campaign aimed at raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. According to a New York Times article by Damon Darlin, here is how the scheme works.
Cartier has produced 800 watches for a special limited edition, and sells them at $3,900 a piece (why would anybody wish to spend $3,900 for a watch is another matter, which we will leave unsettled for the moment). The watches are sold to "support" breast cancer research, but in fact what happens is that Cartier has given the BCRF a total contribution of $30,000, while standing to earn $3 million from the sale of the watches!
To add insult to injury, Cartier has spent more on advertising the sale of the watches than on the actual contribution to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Moreover, as Darlin points out in the article, an individual would be much better off contributing the price of a watch directly to the Foundation and then deduct the contribution from federal taxes. It would take just eight (not 800) people to do that to give as much money to the BCRF as Cartier did in its very finite (one would want to say paltry) "generosity."