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Philips Backs Live Earth

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SAN FRANCISCO Philips Electronics is extending its "Sense and simplicity" positioning by sponsoring a star-studded event designed to raise awareness of global climate change.

The company said this week it would help back the Live Earth international concert series on July 7, which is supported by former Vice President Al Gore and will include musicians such as Madonna, Bon Jovi, Black Eyed Peas and the Police. The concert will be shown live to an estimated 2 billion people via TV, radio, Internet and wireless channels, according to organizers.

Sponsorship of the event is the latest step in the "Sense and simplicity" marketing effort and reinforces the brand's position that it can offer simple, tech-savvy steps to an energy-efficient lifestyle [Adweek, Feb. 26]. The company is working with the lighting industry, energy suppliers, governments and retailers to switch to energy-saving lighting in streets, offices, buildings and homes, according to Philips officials.

"With new lighting technology available today, CO2 output can be cut by 592 million tons per year and consumption of oil reduced by 1560 million barrels of oil a year," Theo van Deursen, Philips CEO, said in a statement.

Philips spends an estimated $600 million annually in global media; its sponsorship spending on Live Earth was not disclosed.

Other global sponsors for the event are Pepsi, MSN, Mercedes-owned Smart cars and Stony Field Farms yogurt. Within a 24-hour period Live Earth will stage concerts in New York; London; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Shanghai; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Hamburg, Germany; and Istanbul, Turkey. The New York-area concert will be held at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.