Julie Cordua, VP of Marketing at the charity (RED), reacted to our recent opinion pieces, that spotlighted the amounts raised by the RED charity in 2006, by calling us up and then dropping us some details to correct us by mail. Here’s her response to this and this post on PSFK plus read further for our follow up questions and her answers:
JULIE: As we discussed, I want to provide corrections to a few of the inaccuracies in the article posted today at http://www.psfk.com/2007/02/more_questions_.html.
You stated: “We highlighted last week the dismal amount of funds raised by the RED campaign in 2006 ($11m).”
Correction: In its first nine months (March – December 2006 in the UK and just October – December, 2006 in the US), (RED) generated more than $20 million dollars to the Global Fund.
Background: Our partner companies close their books at the end of the quarter which either ends Dec. 31 or at the end of their fiscal quarter. At that time, they are able to calculate total sales and total contributions. Therefore, the money in hand at the Global Fund on Dec. 31, 2006 does not fully reflect the total amount raised in a given year.
You stated: “all the marketing activity behind RED made you aware of the brand, not the underlying message of plight in Africa”
Correction: We’ve conducted brand research to gauge awareness and understanding of the concept. In the US, 20% of the US is aware of (RED) and aware of the underlying cause behind it.
Correct list of partners: Gap, Motorola, Converse, Emporio Armani, Apple and American Express (UK Only)
(RED) has generated a mechanism for our partner companies to give more money to a single cause than they have ever before in a given year.
$20M to the Global Fund to is nearly 4 times the amount of private sector contributions that the fund has received since it was founded in 2002. And, this was raised in just nine months.
PIERS: Thanks… How much was spent on the total marketing budget for RED in 2006 by the partners?
JULIE: Hi Piers – each partner determines their own marketing budget that is appropriate to their target consumer so it varies by partner. We centrally don’t have a total amount that was spent from the partners.
PIERS: ok. so, let’s say $350m was spent on marketing. Doesn’t $20 seem a small figure in comparison?
JULIE: I can’t quantify the total amount spent on marketing across partners, although $350M is quite high if you evaluate — using publicly available information — the total spend of any of these companies in a given year. Either way, there are a couple of important points to consider:
1) (RED) has generated a mechanism for our partner companies to give more money to a single cause than they have ever before in a given year.
2) This model is designed to create a sustainable flow of dollars to the fund, year over year. This can only be done if it makes good business sense for the companies that are participating. If it doesn’t make business sense, there is not a reason for companies to continue participation over an extended period of time. That would mean that you then get a one time donation vs. a consistent flow of dollars to the fund.
3) Also, it is important to put the $20M in context – this is 4 times more than private corporations have given to the Global Fund since its inception in 2002. And, it was generated in just nine months.
What do you guys think?