Thursday, January 26, 2006

I suddenly feel very, very - almost violently - ill

From BBC News:

"The rock star Bono has launched a new global brand, Product Red, with a share of profits to go to the fight against Aids in Africa.

Launch partners American Express, Gap, Converse and Giorgio Armani announced a range of "red" branded products.

These will include T-shirts, footwear, sunglasses and a credit card.

The hope is that profits from the venture will generate a "sustainable" flow of money to support the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria.

Bono warned the world was losing the fight against HIV/Aids, with 6,500 Africans dying of the disease every day.

He stressed that this was a commercial venture and not philanthropy.

"Philanthropy is like hippy music, holding hands. Red is more like punk rock, hip hop, this should feel like hard commerce," Bono said.

Product Red wants to draw on the branding expertise and commercial might of its corporate partners, with plans that hundreds of companies could offer "red" branded products.

Red partners, in turn, hope to broaden their customer base while doing something good at the same time."


Blogger Alex Bok Bok said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:43 AM  
Blogger Alex Bok Bok said...

the ultimate in cause branding then. I hate the idea far less than Live Aid for example - at least he talks about something prolonged rather than a short, ugly splash of token interest.

Before i can truly condemn this, I'd need to know what the 'percentage' that is going to charity is going to be and some concrete statistics about how much extra revenue this is expected to generate for the brands involved. Obviously my suspicion is that the later will be quite a lot, seeing as cause branding has been proven to work time and time again. However, as far as i;m concerned the debate is stil open - whether they're getting rich or not at least they're doing something to help, and surely pure intentions are irrelevant as long as the ends are a benifit to some people who need the help. Obviously this argument depends heavily on the facts behind the charity - who's the money going to? how is it being distributed? again, how much of the revnue is being diverted?

interesting development

2:46 AM  
Blogger John said...

I hate Bobo talking like a cunt, and fighting AIDS with sweatshop manufacturing would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul on the whole, but I agree with Alex, at least this seems like a more targeted long term strategy to help in a specific area, rather than all that July 2nd: The Greatest Day Ever TM. "We're ending poverty forever!"

8:45 AM  
Blogger Big_Dog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed. Anything involving Bono is enough to arouse irrational feelings of hatred in me.... but when I saw this news I thought it could be positive.

Sure, it may be a crass marketing ploy for the companies involved, and until (as Alex says) I know a little more about how much is going where - I'll remain slightly sceptical.

However, I'm choosing to view it optimistically. I've seen more cynical, ill-advised but media-friendly 'charity' projects than this...

2:16 PM  

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