Bono and (RED) Keep on Giving

UPDATE From the Kaiser Network
Product RED, a project created by Irish musician Bono and 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, plans to partner with five additional corporations in the next few weeks, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said on Thursday, Reuters UK reports (Hirschler, Reuters UK, 10/5). American Express, Converse, Giorgio Armani and Gap were the initial partners in the program — which was launched in January — and are distributing credit cards and selling tennis shoes, sunglasses and T-shirts, respectively, carrying the Product RED label. The four partner companies have committed to the brand for five years and have pledged to give an average of 40% of profits from the products to the Global Fund. London’s Independent in May announced that it would become the first media outlet to sign on as a partner in the project. In addition, Motorola in May announced that it will partner with Product RED. According to Feachem, Product RED has raised more than $10 million in the United Kingdom from February through September. The funds generated from U.K. sales will be allocated to HIV testing and treatment services for HIV-positive women and children living in Rwanda and to supporting AIDS orphans in Swaziland, Feachem said (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/4). “There are five major corporations today — I’m guessing there will be eight or nine by the end of the year” that will partner with Product RED, Feachem said. According to Reuters UK, Feachem declined to name the corporations, but said the list includes “iconic” consumer electronic businesses. Product RED products will be launched in U.S. stores and other markets this month and in November, Reuters UK reports (Reuters UK, 10/5).