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(Product) RED shows meager returns

updated 09:35 am EST, Tue March 6, 2007

(Product) RED disappoints

A new report is challenging the effectiveness and return on Bono's PRODUCT RED campaign, although spokespersons for the charity deny some of those reports. It has been one year since the beginning of the Red campaign, which has recruited high profile U.S. companies such as Apple, GAP, and Motorola. In addition to the hype and buzz, a slew of publicity and marketing has included celebrity endorsements on billboards, magazine advertisements, and television -- with estimates of total marketing dollars projected as high as $100 million. That has resulted in only $18 million in donations to the charity, leaving many to question the effectiveness of the campaign and fundraising project. The results threaten to spur a backlash not just against the Red campaign -- which ambitiously set out to change the cause-marketing model by allowing partners to profit from charity -- but also for the brands involved.

The Global Fund's "Red" anti-AIDS campaign, however, vigorously disputed reports Monday that its marketing budget grossly exceeds charitable donations the fund has received, calling the estimated $100 million marketing budget "wrong" and an "overcalculation." It said also said that it raised closer to $25 million worldwide in 2006 and the advertising money was spent by its partners rather than the charity organization.

by MacNN Staff





  1. mmirage

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wrong way of seeing it...

    The marketing dollars don't matter. The companies who are spending that money would be spending it anyhow in order to advertise their products.

    So, instead of JUST pushing their goods, they are also promoting a good cause and putting some extra money into it. Where exactly could the problem be with that?

    And, let's not forget... people would have bought those goods anyhow, RED or not!

    Now, if the report had actually stated that the "campaign coordinators" were taking a huge chunk of the pie just to do paperwork and pay salaries to overpriced executives running a charitable affair, THEN there would be a reason to scream foul. But that doesn't appear to be the case here.

  1. jtrwallace

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can't believe that some so called intelligent people can see these figures and assume that the marketing for Gap, Apple, and Motorola has all been paid for by the 10% of all the product red products sold. Use logic for Steve's Sake.

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