On Monday, Ad Age blasted Bono and his highly visible (RED) campaign, now a year old, which has spent $100 million on marketing for its relatively “meager” $18 million worldwide bounty:
You’d expect the money raised to be, well, big, right? Maybe $50 million, or even $100 million. Try again: The tally raised worldwide is $18 million.
Bobbi Shriver, head of (RED), dropped UnBeige a note before sending a long one onto AdAge:
The article is based on many inaccuracies. The (RED) initiative has raised more than $25M for the Global Fund to date. And, more importantly, (RED) has not spent a dime on advertising. The money spent on advertising has been through (RED) convincing companies to divert already planned marketing dollars to promote products that send up to 50% of their profits to the Global Fund. This advertising money was not part of the company philanthropic arm or part of the (RED) initiative and, if not put behind these products, would’ve been used to promote other products that don’t contribute anything.
That prompted the London Independent to publish an in-depth story on (RED) that declares the campaign a success while bashing AdAge:
Buy Less Crap? The only people who seem to need to take that advice are the editorial staff of an American trade magazine called AdAge.
Not surprising, considering the source: the Independent let Bono guest edit an edition of its paper last year. They’re Bono’s buds, essentially.