Earlier this week, we noted Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive and U2 pop star Bono made a joint appearance at the Cannes Lions Festival to discuss Apple and Product Red’s partnership in raising funds for AIDS/HIV programs in Africa. During that appearance, Bono pointed out with Jony Ive on stage that Apple does not prominently display the Product Red logo on the products that support the effort, according to AdWeek’s account of the event (the full video has not been made available and the clip showing Bono relaying another story on Steve Jobs has since been made private):
“Where’s the (Red) branding?” he asked Ive. “Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”
Bono began that bit saying that Apple is “f*cking annoyingly quiet about the fact they’ve raised $75 million.” Product Red followed up today on Bono’s position, though, toning down the nature of Bono’s comments in a blog post thanking Apple for its partnership and the success of Product Red:
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In a reminder that humor doesn’t always travel out of context, some of Bono’s teasing and faux outrage at Apple’s modesty were reported as actual criticism of the company. Nothing could be further from the truth of course. Bono has been one of Apple’s biggest supporters, pushing back publicly on those who have made negative assumptions about the company’s charitable work, simply because they don’t shout it from the rooftops. That modesty is their right, and in many ways admirable.
In the blog post, Product Red notes that the effort has raised $250 million to fight AIDS with partners including Starbucks and Coca-Cola. Apple, which Product Red says is its biggest partner, has donated $75 million to the cause through its partnership with Product Red.