$82 million RED campaign rip off
Posted March 30, 2007

In a recent phenomenon charity campaigns have begun to utilize big business and celebrities to bring attention to their cause.

This seems logical; if that is where all the attention naturally goes then why not harness it for the greater good?

The big question is: Are these causes actually being supported?

Time Magazine recently published some startling statistics on how much money the RED campaign has brought in.

The RED campaign funds the Global Fund which supports the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

According to Time, the RED campaign, which was established a year ago, has raised $18 million.

While that may seem like a lot of money for one campaign, don’t let that number fool you.

Gap, Apple and Motorola have spent more than $100 million dollars to market the campaign to support the Global Fund. For all you out there struggling with the math that is an $82 million difference.

The RED campaign offers a variety of products for the public to purchase and portions of the sales go to the cause. Motorola offers a red version of the MOTORAZR and MOTOSLVR that is available internationally.

American Express offers a red credit card, which is only available in the United Kingdom, in which with every purchase, one percent of the sale is given to the Global Fund in the effort to fight AIDS in Africa. Gap launched a limited edition line of clothes in which 50 percent of the profits go to the campaign.

We at the Campus Times think it is great that these corporations have taken up this cause but we have one question: Why don’t these corporations just give the $100 million dollars to the cause rather than spending all of that money in advertising the cause and only bringing in a mere $18 million?

It is safe to say that the cause and people who are in need of help would easily benefit from corporations giving the money rather than using all of their funds to pay for huge campaigns that may not reap many rewards.

It is ridiculous that these companies are spending more money on advertising their efforts than the actual donation of cash.

The advertisements for their campaign might as well be flashing neon signs that say, “Look at me. Look at me!” because they aren’t intended to actually help the cause but only to draw attention to the celebrities and corporations that sponsor these products.

While the public sees celebrities promoting the cause with their faces, how often do we see them actually give their own money?

Wearing the clothes, using the products and giving the public reasons on why we should help are great, but celebrities should lead by example.

It would be a much clearer message to actually see a celebrity writing out a check rather than smiling in a promotion photo in the window of the Gap.

We all know that there are people in the world who are in dire need of help. Whether it is funding for building homes or for medical equipment and medications, there is always going to be someone out there in need of help.

Unfortunately for many of us, we cannot shell out $100 million. But wouldn’t it be nice for people, like celebrities and big corporations who could actually make a huge, impacting difference with one act of kindness, did just that?

Helping out humanitarian causes is always appreciated but these causes hardly ever receive the full support from corporations and celebrities that advertise the campaigns.

The glamour and the general idea of these huge campaigns, like the RED campaign, are great but because of them the causes can be overlooked and the goal of helping those in need is pushed aside by the urge to be hip and appearing to be charitable.

$82 million RED campaign rip off

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