Since its 2006 launch, Bono and Bobby Schriver’s Product(RED) campaign has put more than 30,000 people on antiretroviral therapy and has provided counseling and treatment to more than 300,000 HIV-positive pregnant women, but its strongest critics find its message misleading, The New York Times reports (, 2/6).

In the article, the Times reports that while (RED) companies—such as GAP, Motorola and, most recently, Dell—have spent a combined total of $100 million on advertising products, they have raised what some call a comparatively low $18 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. This data, presented in the March 2007 issue of Advertising Age magazine, has since been challenged by campaign officials who claim that total advertising costs were only $50 million and the amount raised to fight AIDS in Rwanda, Ghana and Swaziland was around $25 million.

Despite (RED)’s efforts to fight AIDS globally, critics argue that the campaign is more about making the companies appear philanthropic than raising necessary funds. “Look at all the promotions they’ve put out,” Inger L. Stole, a communications professor at the University of Illinois, told the Times. “The ads seem to be more about promoting the companies and how good they are than the issue of AIDS.”