Bono on Thursday
unveiled a new push to fight HIV in Africa, announcing a
new program by several companies to sell products under a
brand called Red, with some of the revenue going to
global AIDS programs.
"So, here we are,
fat cats in the snow, and I say that as one," the U2
front man said Thursday to laughs. Bono was flanked by
Italian fashion tycoon Giorgio Armani and corporate
executives who joined him for the announcement at the
World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Bono said the
money would go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
includes red-theme products from American Express, Converse
footwear, Gap clothing, and Giorgio Armani. A red American
Express card will be offered initially only in the
United Kingdom as of next month.
Red will include sports shoes, T-shirts, and
sunglasses--some produced in Africa, some with African
"I'm calling it
conscious commerce for people who are awake: people
who think about their spending power and say, 'I've
got two jeans I can buy. One I know is made in Africa
and is going to make a difference, and the other
isn't. What am I going to buy?' " Bono said.
executive director of the Global Fund, said "a very
small proportion" of the fund's $4.7 billion comes from
corporations or individuals, but added that he had
concluded that depending on governments wasn't enough.
The Global Fund
was created to finance a dramatic turnaround in the fight
against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. To date the fund
has committed $4.4 billion in 128 countries to fight
Feachem said he
hoped Red would generate "tens of millions of dollars
soon, hundreds of millions of dollars a little further
downstream. Significant money."
"If we succeed,"
Bono interjected. "But we could fail. If people are
jaded or cynical...or genuinely not interested, then we
fail. But we've tried. I think we've come up with a
sexy, smart, savvy idea that will save people's