6 Problems With (PRODUCT)RED
(PRODUCT)RED devices are hailed as a tremendous source of good. The power to eradicate AIDS and poverty seems to be in the hands of businesses; as the consumer, all you need to do is pick the color red.
But is it that easy to solve these long-standing issues? What are some problems with the (RED) model?
Let’s look at numerous criticisms of (PRODUCT)RED to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
1. Exaggerated Effectiveness
AdAge pointed out that the advertising expense that partnering companies spent to market (PRODUCT)RED products is disproportionate to the donations raised.
At that time, (RED) representatives said the campaign accumulated more than the figure reported by the publication. However, the ratio remained two to one, even with the amount of funds corrected, as observed by Sarah Dadush in International Law and Politics.
2. Lack of Transparency
The (RED) label doesn’t indicate the percentage of product sales that go to charity. Partners like Apple only use vague statements like a “portion of the proceeds” to tell you how donations are allocated. Despite being a global charity, you can’t find (RED)’s annual reports or financial statements on its website either.
3. Partnership With Exploitative Companies
Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED partnership hasn’t come directly under fire for this before, but other (RED) partnerships have. For instance, Nike and Gap are infamous for their use of sweatshops. Amazon’s treatment of its employees has a bad reputation as well.
Critics ask, if (RED) seeks to defend the vulnerable, why is the organization partnering with multinationals that are known to exploit poor people?
4. For Business or Charity?
Inger L Stole, a communications professor at the University of Illinois, noted that (PRODUCT)RED advertisements seemed to be “promoting the companies and how good they are” rather than information about AIDS.
During a public event in 2014, (RED) founder Bono angrily complained how the (RED) logo was less visible because it was printed inside an iPad case rather than outside and went on to accuse Apple of being a “religious cult,” as reported by Business Insider. These instances inevitably give the impression that the brand is about business and corporate marketing, rather than the dire situation of AIDS in poverty-stricken countries.
5. Justification for Consumer Greed
Karen Heller, a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, described the unspoken approach of (RED) as “shop so the unfortunate can live.” Dadush wrote that consumers are fed the false idealistic picture that, amidst the problem of growing e-waste and overconsumption, they can shop their way to a better world.
The slogan “Shop (RED). Save Lives” induces a feel-good factor, serving as a convenient justification for modern consumerism by commodifying suffering.
6. Profit as Philanthropy
Another significant criticism of (RED) is that it’s actually cause-related marketing disguised as philanthropy. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mark Rosenman observed that the use of the (PRODUCT)RED brand is merely another marketing technique. It uses people’s desire to see good in the world to sell the product.
What is painted as powerful corporations choosing to fight the good fight against the odds is simply yet another storytelling technique to bolster the public image and increase profit.
Should You Buy Apple (PRODUCT)RED?
With all these criticisms, is it still worth buying a (PRODUCT)RED item? While you don’t need to run away from all things (RED), we recommend that you choose a red product simply because you like the color, rather than feel inclined to do so due to its promoted label.
If you wish to lend a helping hand to social causes you’re passionate about, you can still make a direct donation or even volunteer during your free time! If you have an old phone lying around, you can also give it to charities that accept electronics. Some recycle devices to maintain a source of income. Others distribute functional devices for free to those who need them.
Find a cause that speaks to you and donate your old smartphone today.
About The Author
via MUO – Feed https://ift.tt/1AUAxdL
January 13, 2022 at 08:07AM