Bono, U2, Red and World Aids Day

Bono (Red) Program

Bono (Red) Program

Today is World AIDS Day, a day of particular significance to Bono, whose (RED) brand launched  years ago to help support the Global Fund in their effort to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Since its beginning, (RED) has garnered the support of major retailers like Apple, Dell, Starbucks, Gap, and American Eagle (just to name a few).

Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

Bono’s clothes firm sinks

Accounts show Edun Apparel, founded by the rock star and his wife Ali Hewson in 2005, suffered losses to the tune of €6.8million in 2011.

The company is also 49 per cent owned by the world’s largest luxury goods group LVMH which put €6.7million into Edun in 2009.

The Paris-headquartered group also owns some of the world’s top brands — including Louis Vuitton, Donna Karan, Moet Chandon and Veuve Clicquot champagne.


Bono’s star-studded famine commercial has been banned from airing on U.K. TV – because broadcasting officials fear the clip breaches rules regarding political advertising.

The U2 rocker shot the minute-long advert with a slew of his celebrity pals, including George Clooney, Jessica Alba and Colin Farrell, to raise awareness about the famine crisis sweeping across Eastern Africa.

The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity, which was produced by Bono’s One charity, is aimed at urging government officials to do more to tackle the hunger issue, but the TV commercial has now been taken off the airwaves by bosses at governing body Clearcast amid worries its message could potentially conflict with the terms stated in the 2003 Communications Act.

A Clearcast spokesperson tells BBC News, “These rules ensure that adverts aren’t being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.”

“One (charity) appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d’etre (reason for existence) is to pressure political leaders. It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules.”

Amnesty International and U2 Fans

Eric Shivvers Chicago :

When U2 played here in Chicago two nights ago, I was asked to take some pictures of the show and I did. Yeah, I have a great shot of Larry playing his djembe and a couple of the Edge, both of which will make great mementos but as I stood against the rail behind the stage taking in the show, I turned around and observed a group of One campaigners and Amnesty International volunteers lining up to go onstage.  I thought to myself, if Bono Edge, Adam and Larry are the generals of philanthropy and we are the army of followers, then these are the lieutenants. Night in and night out on this tour, local volunteers give up their time to sign up us fans for these causes. Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry know that we are a community of good-hearted people, willing to join a cause they promote. 

As stage crew handed out the props that these good Samaratins were going to walk with onstage, I knew this would be the one photograph that no one else would take. The smiling happy volunteers were excited to go onstage, even if it was just to stand for five minutes or so, representing their great organizations. It didn’t matter that they weren’t going to play along with Edge or sing with Bono. What they were doing was more important. They were speaking to us in silence for those who don’t have a voice. The people they represent are the AIDS patient waiting to die in a hospital in Central Africa or a political prisoner such as Aung San Suu Kyi. Both of whom need these organizations to set justice straight.

I thought it was a little camp the first time I witnessed this on the 360 tour, but after seeing their smiling faces in these pictures, I have greater respect for this spectacle during the show. U2 keeps teaching me something new about the world every time they go out on the road. With these volunteers and our passion for the band, we have made a difference. Aung San Suu Kyi was finally freed from house arrest and 4 million lives were saved from AIDS with anti-retroviral drugs. These two accomplishments came from rock stars that didn’t have to take up these causes, but they did and they made a believer out of me when I joined their army 25+ years ago.   

In closing, these pictures will never grace the entertainment section of the Chicago Tribune, but the opportunity to represent their cause for five minutes onstage will last a lifetime. They will tell their friends and family about standing shoulder to shoulder with U2 on a hot July night in 2011. There may be no photographs of witness to their triumph but that’s okay. They are volunteers who will slip back into their day-today world unrecognized as the rockers they shared the stage with, but recognized, through their passion, as the keepers of the flame, telling us that we can change the world one U2 fan at a time.