Adweek’s Third Brand Visionary is Bono

Our sister publication Adweek had previously tipped the majority of those set to be celebrated at a September 30 gala event to be MC-ed by Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. But today, they added two more notable honorees: U2 lead singer Bono and the charity he co-founded, (RED).


Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), will accept the honors on Bono’s behalf during Advertising Week at Cipriani Downtown. Adweek has also partnered with (RED) for a year-long initiative to rally brands around the global fight against AIDS. From today’s announcement:

While Adweek Brand Genius recognizes excellence in brand-building efforts over the past year, the Brand Visionary honoree acknowledges a career’s worth of achievement and celebrates an individual’s propulsion of their cause or brand to worldwide renown. Previous Brand Visionary recipients are former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (2012) and Russell Simmons (2013).

“We wanted to celebrate 25 years of Brand Genius with something meaningful, and this year’s honorees have brought an entirely new element to our awards,” says Adweek editorial director James Cooper. “Bono is a global statesman of the creative business and social development, and through (RED), has created an entirely new blueprint for the way consumers engage with social causes. We look forward to starting a new legacy of giving at Adweek.”

The (RED) honor marks the debut of a new Adweek Brand Genius award category. Brand Save will each year moving forward commemorate a “pro-social brand that brings excellence, innovation and ingenuity to cause marketing and the world of charity.” To date, (RED) has raised an astonishing $250 million+:

“The launch of Brand Save establishes the importance of social action within brand communities,” says Liza Kalikow Kirsh, Adweek vice president of marketing. “We’re honored to celebrate (RED) and offer the Brand Genius stage to award the ingenuity of their marketing, while galvanizing support for the critical mission of the Global Fund’s fight to end AIDS.”