Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and humanitarian rocker Bono hit Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" yesterday (Oct. 12) for a shopping spree to promote a new line of clothing, accessories and gadgets, includin
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and humanitarian rocker Bono hit Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" yesterday (Oct. 12) for a shopping spree to promote a new line of clothing, accessories and gadgets, including a special-edition iPod, that will raise money to fight AIDS in Africa.
Dozens of "(Product) Red" items will go on sale in the coming weeks by Gap Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Motorola Inc., Converse Inc. and Emporio Armani. Portions of the product sales will go to the Global Fund, an organization that fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
"Some people won't put on marching boots, so we've got to get to people where they are at, and they're in the shopping malls," Bono said. "Now you're buying jeans and T-shirts, and you're paying for 10 women in Africa to get medication for their children with HIV."
The Gap, which will debut its Red line in stores today, will donate half the profits to The Global Fund. Apple will contribute $10 from the sale of each new red-colored iPod nano. The model, priced the same as its $199 cousins, also goes on sale today.
The celebrities, who arrived at the downtown Chicago Gap store in a red Ford Thunderbird, got a sneak peak at the products during a private shopping stint that will be broadcast today on Winfrey's show.
After visiting the Gap, the duo walked along Michigan Avenue to an Apple store and picked up the red iPod, the first music product from the Cupertino, Calif.-based company designed to raise money for charity.
So far, the (Product) Red initiative, which began this spring in Britain, has raised more than $12 million for African AIDS programs, said Doug Piwinski, a spokesman for (Product) Red.
With Apple's iPod alone, the Global Fund stands to raise millions of dollars. During the holiday quarter in 2005, Apple sold 14 million iPods. The iPod maker also plans to donate some proceeds from a $25 iTunes Red gift card to the organization.
"I love the fact that Bono is trying to do something about this problem," Apple's CEO Steve Jobs said. "I've never been to Africa, but you don't have to go there to know there are a lot of people dying of AIDS there. In a small way, this is something we could do about it."
Bono, who knows the difficulties of raising awareness for social causes, was thrilled with the retailers' efforts for the campaign. "We've moved from the philanthropy budgets to the marketing budgets, and guess what, there's no comparison in size," Bono said. "We now have some of the most creative people in commerce -- Steve Jobs, the marketing people at Gap and Motorola -- all working for the world's poor. That is so, so cool."
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