Reading (RED)

_41514152_bonoafp_1Speaking several years ago at a college graduation ceremony, U2's Bono introduced himself as a "Rock Star".  Now he has a new title: newspaper editor.

A UK daily, The Independent, is the first media outlet to sign on to Bono's (RED), a new cause marketing initiative to bring worldwide attention and corporate dollars to fight AIDS in Africa.  AIDS will kill two million Africans just this year.

To kick-off the partnership, Bono will serve as editor of TI on May 16th.

Bono is already at work on items for many sections of the newspaper, inputting ideas and commissioning articles on the arts, sport, fashion, health, motoring and politics - as well as a number of special features on Africa.

This will be a great promotion for (RED), especially since the new venture has had a somewhat rocky start.  There's no doubt that Bono has the celebrity muscle to make (RED) a huge success, and this is just the first of what I'm sure will be a long line of attention-getting publicity in the UK.  No word yet on when Bono will bring the (RED) show to the US.

The Independent's announcement of the partnership included a good quote from Orange phone brand founder Wally Olins.  He said that "Ethical products are the last great commodity differentiator".  They give consumers a better reason to do business with you than just product or price.  Bono would agree.  (RED) is all about being in the black.

Hat tip: DK at Phatgnat.

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