I remember seeing a Looney Tunes cartoon as a child in which a giant tree goes in one end of a machine and out of the other pops a toothpick or a baseball ball. That was my initial fear when I saw the Product Red charity.
It seems that that may indeed be the case. AdWeek reports that the advertising has cost about $100 million thus far, the amout to charity $18 million:
"The tally raised worldwide is $18 million.
The disproportionate ratio between the marketing outlay and the money raised is drawing concern among nonprofit watchdogs, cause-marketing experts and even executives in the ad business. It threatens to spur a backlash, not just against the Red campaign -- which ambitiously set out to change the cause-marketing model by allowing partners to profit from charity -- but also for the brands involved.
By any measure, the buzz has been extraordinary and the collective marketing outlay by Gap, Apple and Motorola has been enormous, with some estimates as high as $100 million. Gap alone spent $7.8 million of its $58 million outlay on Red during last year's fourth quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research's Nielsen Adviews."
See my post on "diet charity":
Diet Charity. Full, self-satisfying validation without any of the sacrifice.