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persuasion notebook

The tweeting bra.

Nestlé SA wants the world to know every time a celebrity takes her bra off.

This week, its division Nestlé Fitness launched an advertising campaign in Greece: the Tweeting bra.

With its ad agency Ogilvy Athens, the company created a pink bra that tweets each time it is unclasped. It is part of the brand's cause marketing around breast cancer.

A low-voltage Bluetooth device sewn into the back of the bra detects each time the wearer unhooks it, and sends a message to a mobile phone that is programmed to automatically post a tweet through the account @tweetingbra, reminding women to do their breast self-exams.

Greek TV presenter Maria Bakodimou has agreed to wear the bra for two weeks.

The account posts are mostly in Greek, although it has shown an early penchant for terrible puns such as "Boobs I did it again."

Nestlé Fitness sells a line of cereal bars and cereals targeted to women who are attempting to lose weight.

These types of pink campaigns around breast cancer have been criticized, however, for capitalizing on the suffering of breast cancer patients to market their products. Often referred to as "Pinkwashing," companies are called out for either promoting only "awareness" of breast cancer without actually contributing money, or selling products that contain hormones or toxins that have been linked to cancer in some studies.

The website for the campaign says that Nestlé Fitness "supports the fight against breast cancer every year," and it promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Day.