Washington Post Examines Criticisms of Product RED, "I Am African" Campaigns
November 3, 2006
Neither the "I Am African" campaign -- a project that aims to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in Africa and directs contributions to Keep a Child Alive -- nor Product RED -- an initiative that aims to raise money for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by donating a portion of profits from a range of branded products -- have been "spared from cynicism," the Washington Post reports. According to the Post, the media, bloggers and the fashion industry itself have raised "suspicious questions" about the initiatives, including why Product RED companies do not donate 100% of the proceeds from designated products. Bobby Shriver, who along with Irish musician Bono created Product RED, said he wanted companies involved to have a "selfish, dollars-and-cents reason for revving up their formidable advertising and marketing machines." Product RED had to be a "main line" within the product brands, Shriver said, adding, "We wouldn't accept something peripheral. ... I don't want to be in the charity bin." The percentage each company donates to the Global Fund varies, but the commitments are for five years, the Post reports (Givhan, Washington Post, 11/3). According to Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem, Product RED has raised more than $10 million in the U.K. from February through September (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/16).
"I Am African"
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