Christian Science Monitor Examines Marketing Costs, Transparency of Product RED
The Christian Science Monitor on Monday examined how Product RED -- a project created by Irish musician Bono and DATA co-founder Bobby Shriver that aims to raise money for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by donating a portion of profits from a range of branded products -- has "drawn praise" for raising $25 million to provide HIV-positive people in Africa with access to antiretroviral drugs. According to the Monitor, Product RED also has garnered "some reservations about marketing costs and a lack of transparency" -- issues that are "not uncommon within the rapidly growing business of cause-related marketing." Product RED advertising campaigns in "top cities and publications has added to the campaign's impact" and "raised some eyebrows," the Monitor reports. An article published last week in Advertising Age "unfavorably contrasted the amount of money raised for" treatment access in Africa against marketing costs spent by companies involved in the campaign estimated to be as much as $100 million, according to the Monitor. Product RED has said that no monetary amount can be placed on raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in Africa, and it also has said the $100 million marketing estimate is too high by tens of millions of dollars, the Monitor reports (Arnoldy, Christian Science Monitor, 3/12).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.