Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bono and LV in Africa

I've been MIA and instead of easing you back into the good ole blog, I decided to publish this bit of cray cray along with my research and thoughts.  I saw this ad in the Wall Street Journal a while ago and tore it out to save.
 Scanned from WSJ
The ad depicts do gooder Bono just touching down in the bush to help Africa while toting his Louis Vitton luggage.  My first reaction was that it was absolutely comical.  I guess he's down with dragging thousands of dollars worth of luggage through dung then flaunt it in front of those in dire need.

Then I thought, well the people in dire need probably don't know what LV is anyways.  Then I thought, I don't know if that's true, and even if it is, does that make it ok?  So before I judged Bono like I judged TOMS, I decided to do some more research.

I came across this article on Daily Mail about why ONE, Bono's campaign, has only given 1.2% of the raised money away. The purported reason of the money going to raise awareness rang hollow with me. What does "Raising Awareness" do?  What measure of success has "Raising Awareness" done?  And honestly, who wasn't already aware of the dire situation besides people who aren't in the financial position to give or people who don't care to know about the world around them anyways?  

Why can't they advocate AND do good for people on the ground?  And just where pray tell is the rest of the money going?

I continued to research and discovered that ONE attempted to start manufacturing jobs on the ground.  I started to come around and thought this was actually a good idea because it provided jobs and raised awareness, until I found articles describing how ONE's clothing line manufacturing jobs were moved to China (see one of the articles here).

After my research, I came to the conclusion that leading an awareness campaign with "Louis Vitton under your underarm" is a crock and if I want to donate to a cause that is actually helping Africans that my money is better donated elsewhere.

What do you think of ONE and Bono's efforts?


  1. Oh, how disheatening! As a huge fan of Bono and U2, this is really disappointing. :(

  2. I think Bono had good intentions - and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he truly wants to help. Maybe he just doesn't know how? And I think that's the important part to investigate about charities we give to - the how of their cause.

  3. I've always disliked Bono and found him to be a bit disingenuous. I've heard these statistics about ONE before, and I've always thought Bono was just a little too showy to really be out there doing anything good. I'd love to be proved wrong, because what he SAYS he's doing is a wonderful cause.

    I should probably confess that I always disliked the music of U2, so that made it easier to dis Bono. :)

  4. In all honesty, while I like U2's music, I've always thought Bono and his "holier than thou" supposed humanitarian efforts were a total crock. 1.2%? Give me a break. I wonder how many African children he could feed if he sold that stupid Louis.

  5. I've always wondered how organizations get away with saying "raise awareness"

  6. I saw this ad and laughed too. But unlike you, I didn't dig in. I'm glad you did though...interesting stats. And a good PSA for doing research when you donate to charity. Good work, MR! :)

  7. I think you're brilliant for looking further into it.
    It's always disheartening to realize how little a portion of any donation to any charity actually reaches the ones it's purporting to help . . . and to find out how much those at the top are making.
    Ironically, I don't remember hearing all that much about ONE recently - so much for their awareness!

  8. I;m with you. I have always felt this way about him and a lot of celebs. How about when stars do a big tours with the UN? All the money for the flights, security, vehicles, hotels, special needs (imported water) and time the guy from UN spent giving someone a tour when he should have been doing his job.

  9. if what you are saying is true then i'm pretty POed right now. thanks for the post. Oh, and on the ONE thing i never give money to organizations that aren't directly doing something already, and haven't been around for a while. I like to stick with Compassion, World Vision, those sorts of things. OR even MCC. They have all been around a long time and I find my money is really doing something there.