U2’s Bono Rocks Corporate Philanthropy

Wow. Bono seems to have reinvented corporate involvement in the fight against AIDS, while at the same time slagging old-fashioned philanthropy and hippies too. One smart dude.

From BBC News: Bono bets on Red to battle Aids

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. [emphasis added]

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

More on this, from BusinessWeek Online: For Bono, Star Power with Purpose

Perhaps no celebrity alive today is more effective at leveraging his fame for social good than Bono. A day earlier, he had launched a new fund-raising effort called Product Red, an effort to exploit famous brands such as Armani, Gap, and American Express to raise money for efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in Africa. Gap, for example, will sell an African-made T-Shirt (guess what color…uh, red), and Giorgio Armani is designing a pair of sunglasses. American Express will issue a Red credit card. A percentage of the sales that the products generate will go to the cause.

Update:
Here is the Product Red website.
Here’s Bono’s own website
Same story, this time from an African news-source.

1 comment so far

  1. […] to the Global Fund (to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in needy countries). I wrote about RED here and […]


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