Monday, March 05, 2007

(RED) figures

You'll recall project Red, of course, the initiative where Bono suggested we can hyper-consume our way out of global poverty? At the time, we did wonder if encouraging people to get into debt to help others caught in the global debt trap might not be a cosmic joke too far, but now it turns out that the charity itself has pitched in and run up some impressive debts of its own: Advertising Age reports that the initiative has raised an impressive sounding USD18million for the Global Fund.

Impressive sounding, that is, until you factor in that the companies involved in the campaign have spent, by some estimates, over USD100million on marketing. In other words, if the companies had halved their marketing budget and just handed that straight to the charity, it would have done nearly three times as much good. Except, of course, it wouldn't have given the companies such a wonderfully high profile at being so very, very good.


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