Celeb-Driven "Red" Charity Shopping Campaign Spent $100 Million to Bring $18 Million.

Bono and his celebrity friends' Red campaign has raised $18 million worldwide - that's nothing to sneeze at except that they had spent an estimated $100 million promoting it!

The disproportionate ratio between the marketing outlay and the money raised is drawing concern among nonprofit watchdogs, cause-marketing experts and even executives in the ad business. It threatens 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 backlash has already started:

The campaign's inherent appeal to conspicuous consumption has spurred a parody by a group of San Francisco designers and artists, who take issue with Bono's rallying cry. "Shopping is not a solution. Buy less. Give more," is the message at buylesscrap.org, which encourages people to give directly to the Global Fund.

Link - via A Welsh View


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I just saw an article on nydailynews.com reporting about the article at adage.com not being true: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/503470p-424633c.html.
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That sucks. :( I really liked the (RED) campaign, and thought it was a cool way to market gadgets that people wanted anyway and support a charity at the same time.

Maybe now's not the right time to judge the idea, and let it roll for a while longer to see if the costs eventually recoup. It's a shame though, I really dug the idea.
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I never understood why the GAP still needed to profit from (RED) shirts. 'A portion will go to fighting AIDS in Africa'. Brilliant. It would be terrible to give all the money to AIDS in Africa ... Or hell, why not AIDS at home?
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That seems to be how these things end up. I remember seeing at some point that someone figured out that the trendy white wristbands from that Make Poverty History campaign a couple of years back turned out to be made in a Chinese sweatshop...
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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

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