This topic has generated a fair amount of interest and has been reported widely. Most blogs and news outlets didn't comment very much on certain aspects of the Foundation and there's been only veiled references to the hypocrisy surrounding Bristol's paycheck: Teenage pregnancy pays well.
Candie's is not the only organization that has jumped on the Palin bandwagon. A lot of people are making money from what is now a recognized brand. We have to suffer Sarah Palin and some of her family (the whole family in the case of Sarah Palin's Alaska) making the news and being paid a lot of money for spouting conflicting messages. In Sarah Palin's case, the message is laced with poison and has resulted in some tragic consequences.
Back to Bristol Palin and the Candie's Foundation, what makes me critical of their position is the cynical exploitation of young people. If Candie's had limited themselves to selling female apparel using sex as a marketing tool, they would be just another company among many, doing the same thing. But they started a foundation that has a dishonest and cynical mission statement: To educate young people regarding sex, to warn them of the pitfalls of engaging in sex prematurely and the consequences of doing so. Candie's Foundation has grown since 2001 and have a decent amount of money in the bank. How much have they given in charitable grants in 2009? $35,000. Here are a couple of snapshots of their expenses in 2009:
This foundation looks more like a marketing outfit than a charity to me.
As for stating that Bristol Palin makes a profit from exploiting young people, yes, she does. When we look at the whole picture, what she really advocates is teenage pregnancy. The abstinence spiel is just playing hard to get. Candie's Foundation produced this PSA to pay lip service to safe sex:
Bristol Palin knows how hard it is to be a teen mom. It's hard, but hey, if it happens, you get to stomp on Dancing with the Stars, make the cover of glossy magazines, get to "act" in a show on ABC Family and get a quarter of a million dollars from a dodgy foundation. You'll be able to pay cash for one or more houses for yourself and your baby. So long as you promise to tell the world what a devastating mistake your baby is, so long as you tell the world you'll never have sex again (marketing two mistakes may be a bit harder, unless she goes for at least another eight mistakes or a very multiple one, to beat Kate Gosselin and the Octomom).
Bristol Palin's foray into acting drew my attention to another expenditure by the Candie's Foundation: $165,000 to ABC Family. I hope somebody will take a closer look at that.
The original post appears below. I would like to thank reader Trigmund Freud for obtaining the 990 form. Perseverance pays off!
I decided to feature the post again because, while some websites credited Palingates as being the first to publish the information, there was no link to the post and a lot of people are arriving on the blog through Google searches. It's easier to find the post if it's at the top.
Bristol Palin makes a nice profit from teenage sex
I received a document today, the form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) of the Candie's Foundation for the year 2009. I don't think anybody else in the blogophere has this information so far...
Neil Cole, Chairman and CEO of Candie's and its parent company, Iconix, sees no contradiction in promoting their products through ads showing highly sexualized young people while simultaneously promoting abstinence via the Foundation.
He defends the contradiction: “Just because you’re wearing high-heeled sexy shoes doesn’t mean you should have a baby.”
In 2001, under fire from critics who accused him of dressing high-schoolers like tarts, he established the Candie’s Foundation, which fights teen pregnancy. In 2009 he introduced the foundation’s new teen ambassador, Bristol Palin.
The Candie's Foundation would have much more credibility if they promoted comprehensive sex education alongside the message that young people should consider whether they're ready to be sexually active. Instead, their mission statement on their 990 form reads:
They repeat the same drivel three times on the form.
Bristol Palin had devastating consequences from her teenage pregnancy. In 2009 she was paid a really devastating amount of money:
This amount is not final, as the 990 is not complete yet. Candie's requested an extention to present the data for their annual Event to Prevent, so Bristol may be due some further devastation.
The Candie's Foundation is the charitable arm of the purveyors of sexy attire for teenagers that uses soft porn to market their products. It's just a handy way to generate tax free money by pretending to be against teenage sex. They decided to cover all bases...
Bristol appears to have developed a convincing image, very, very relevant in the context of sexual abstinence.
Candies and Bristol Palin are well matched. Hypocrisy, greed and gratuitous exploitation of young women while delivering conflicting messages is a profitable bond between them.
Back in January 2010, a Candie's Foundation publicist put a foot in his mouth:
A publicist from the Candie's Foundation says that Bristol is not paid for her role as spokesperson but is compensated for travel and other expenses.
$262,500 is a LOT of travel!
(H/T to Curiouser11)
Kim Chatman just reminded me about the claims that Bristol was working her butt off at a doctor's office. According to that spin, Bristol had to get up at some ungodly hour to bathe Tripp, fix his breakfast and get ready to go to work.
Why bother, if she was being paid handsomely as a teenage pregnancy advocate? (I can't resist being sarcastic about Bristol being an abstinence advocate...).
Candie's Foundation had a different opinion of Bristol before they jumped on the Palin bandwagon... There was a controversy about this ad because USA Today would not print it, likely due to concern it would anger certain republican presidential and vice presidential candidates (and supporters). (H/T to LisanTx)
Here's an interesting video, made before Bristol Palin thought abstinence was a realistic alternative:
(H/T to maelewis)
The 990 return may be viewed and downloaded HERE.
Please read previous posts about Candies.