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Bono pushes for 'Product Red Brand' aid efforts

27
Jan '06
Irish Rock Star Bono, and former record producer and CEO of Product Red, Bobby Shriver have promoted plans to raise awareness about Aids pandemic and put pressure on governments to increase their own donations, even as the project seeks consumers in to activists.

Four leading companies have joined hands yesterday to announce adoption of Product Red brand and commit part of their profits ("tens of millions” in the next 18 months and hundreds of millions a year in five years' time) in charities to combat Aids in Africa.

Product Red brand is owned by Bono and Mr Shriver, and allows companies to label products as Product Red in return for an undisclosed compensation. Besides, marketing and advertising for branded products is also approved by Product Red.

With probably most of their finances at stake, Shriver and Bono said the brand would donate any profits it made to the global fund.

However, both, Bono, and Bobby Shriver, were quick to deny that the companies in question were out for publicity stating that it was not an act of corporate charity.
Shriver said “We don't want this to be altruistic; it has to be commercially sustainable.”

For three good years, Bono and Shriver persevered and had to hard sell the brand to companies involved as they did not comprehend the implications of branding products that would aid Africa, and make sound business sense, in parallel.

Gap, one of the group of four will launch a premium range of T-shirts and other products made in the African country of Lesotho from African-grown cotton. However, Lesotho's garment industry is already defunct as cheap Chinese products have swamped its domestic market.


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