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F*ck Outta Here Bono: Product Red Criticism

F*ck Outta Here Bono: Product Red Criticism

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Below is the Wikipedia entry under criticism for Prouct Red:

“Product Red has been criticized for not having an impact proportional to the advertising investment, for being much less efficient than direct charitable contribution,[4] and for having a lack of transparency with regards to the amount of money going to charity as a percentage of every purchase.[5] Some critics argue that a retail middleman between donor and charity is unnecessary; donors should just give.[6] Another critique is that Product Red’s expansion into traditional fundraising techniques, such as art auctions, undermines its claim to be a different and more sustainable approach to raising money for AIDS.[7] Other critics have pointed out that its emphasis on funding treatment for AIDS sufferers meant that large amounts of the money will ultimately end up with pharmaceutical companies.[8] Many accuse the campaign of profiting by using diseases as a marketing vehicle.[8] In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mark Rosenman wrote that it was an “example of the corporate world aligning its operations with its central purpose of increasing shareholder profit, except this time it is being cloaked in the patina of philanthropy.”[9]

The National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights criticised Product Red for its links with Gap,[10] which was historically a target of anti-sweatshop activists, although anti-sweatshop organisation Labour Behind the Label states that Gap has “come further than many”[11] clothing companies to counter exploitation.[12] Gap’s Product Red clothes are made in Lesotho, rather than simply for the best price in China (this goes beyond the requirements of Product Red). Labour Behind the Label criticises Product Red for not requiring more measures to protect the rights of the workers who make their products.[11]

Old data released in 2007 by Advertising Age claims retail participants in Product Red including Gap, Motorola and Apple, Inc. have invested $100 million in advertising and raised only $18 million for The Global Fund[4]. In July 2009, however, a (RED) blog claims to have raised over $130 million in three years. [1]Apple donated $10 of the sale of their $149 iPod during the initial stages of the campaign, and no longer discloses how much it donates.[13] Product Red states on their website that they donate “up to” half of their gross profits.[14]

One spoof campaign known as BUY (LESS) mocks the consumerist bent of (RED) with its own call to “BUY (LESS) CRAP!”[15]. The BUY (LESS) campaign encourages people to forgo the premium-level products and donate directly to charities. The BUY (LESS) campaign carries the slogan, “Shopping is not a solution. Buy (Less). Give More.” The BUY (LESS) campaign site features a short list of recommended charities, such as: World Vision, Global Fast, and Habitat for Humanity. The (LESS) campaign also holds out a critical letter to (RED) CEO Bobby Shriver, posted online.”

I think they took the thoughts right out of my head… F*k Outta Here Bono.. Donate Direct (Thats my new campaign)


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