Bad news for Red, the Bono-inspired, star-studded ad campaign to sell Gap t-shirts, and—oh, yes—raise some money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Despite all the hype, its total contribution to the Fund so far has
been a paltry 18 million. A Global Fund spokesman explains to Ad Age that this was to be expected: "Red has done as much as we could have hoped for in the short time it has been up and running.... The launch cost of this kind of campaign is going to
be hugely frontloaded."
Translation: Most of the money raised has been blown on ad budgets by Gap,
Motorola, Armani, Apple, and other companies that are taking a cut from selling
Red stuff. To give you a sense of just how big the corporate cut is, for every
special edition Red iPod nano sold, Apple donates just $10.
This isn't the first time an altruistic corporate campaign has been
revealed to be too good to be true—we collected some other examples in our November issue. But there's an easy way to not get snooke(red)—cut out the middleman and give directly to the GlobalCFund. Visit buylesscrap.org to
find out how.
Click on the links above. they are each worth following, especially Buy (Less) Crap which reminds us that shopping is not a solution for human suffering (while I believe the market is wonderful way to promote ethical behavior and change things- it is probably not by buying useless things we do not need which give very little money to important charities).