I'm not a big fan of Bono's "philanthropic" efforts. As I discussed in a recent post, Bloomberg Markets has exposed him as essentially a big-talking tax dodger, big on photo-ops but less willing to contribute his own funds to the causes he urges governments to contribute taxpayer money to.

According to the New York Times, the (Red) clothing brand that Bono has championed as a way to raise money for AIDS in Africa is also coming up short: Detractors "criticize a lack of transparency at the company and its partners over how much they make from Red products, and whether they spend more money on Africa or advertising.

One concern is that advertisements for (Red) products have focused on trumpeting the underlying brands rather than raising awareness for AIDS in Africa.

People will go back and forth about the efficacy of the (Red) program -- In aggregate I'm sure it's a good thing but I think consumers can do better.

If you want to give money to support AIDS in Africa or some other cause, just write a check -- That way, you get a tax deduction, which is much better than a lot of the overpriced (Red) products that I've seen.

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