Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has raised more than $65 million to fight AIDs, according to U2 front man Bono. The rockstar is the founder of the (RED) campaign that sees companies release red products in order to fight the disease. Bono made a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative and spoke about the contribution from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The news was originally reported by BusinessInsider.
The Product Red campaign has probably been the most visible at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The company released an iPod Nano, and iPod Touch and an iPod Shuffle for the campaign, and has released a number of additional accessories to contribute.
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Apple Red Campaign
There have been some criticisms leveled at the Product Red campaign and at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s involvement particularly. The visibility of the company’s (RED) products and the eye attracting nature of news about the company have led to investigations into the company’s use of the charity, and the charity itself.
Some of the most often raised criticisms include the amount of money the company spends advertising the RED products compared to the amount of money the products have actually contributed to charities. The numbers suggest that it would be more worthwhile for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to simply invest that portion of the advertising budget to AIDs charities and ignore the Product Red campaign.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has raised $65 million for the charity, and that is not a bad thing. The firm may be headed toward $35 billion in earnings in this year alone, however, and the contribution to the Product Red campaign is a pittance in comparison.
Charity at Apple Inc.
Charity has been a difficult problem at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for many years. The company’s co-founder Steve Jobs did not support direct philanthropy. According to one New York Post journalist, the visionary executive thought that delivering Apple products to the masses was charity enough.
In 2011, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) donated just $100 million to charity, behind the donations of most of the big companies on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX). The company has been trying to resurrect its image since Tim Cook took the position as CEO of the company. Cook himself revealed that he gave $100 million to charity himself alone in 2011.
There is a lot of controversy about the workings of charity, and in particular the workings of private charity like Product Red. Steve Jobs never quite solved those problems, and they are still plaguing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).