U2 frontman Bono blasts Apple for ‘modesty run amok’

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Bono is a tireless promoter of his global AIDs and HIV nonprofit, (RED), but according to the U2 frontman (and, more ignobly, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark composer), Apple’s dropping the ball when it comes to charity: not in regards to giving enough money to charity, but in regards to promoting how much charitable work it does as a company.

If you’ve ever bought a (RED) iPod, you’ll know that Apple has partner with Bono’s charity since 2006. Apple sells over half a dozen items every year that contribute to the Global Fund through its (RED) partnership, in which red gadgets made by different companies have their profits donated directly to the fight against AIDS.

Apple is a big supporter of Project (RED). In fact, Apple’s senior VP of design, Jony Ive, did an entire charity auction for Project (RED) last year, in which he sold a red Mac Pro for $977,000.

Bono does not dispute that Apple gives a lot to (RED). However, at an event at the Cannes Lion Festival this weekend with Apple designer Jony Ive, Bono called Apple “annoyingly quiet” about its charity work, saying the Cupertino-based company was doing The Global Fund a disservice for not shouting to the hills about the $75 million it has raised for AIDS charity work over the last decade.

“This is modesty run amok,” Bono said. “This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”

Maybe Bono has a point. Apple is the company from which the entire tech world takes its leave. If they promoted their charity work more zealously, maybe more companies would follow suit. I don’t think even Apple would complain if Samsung shamelessly ripped off their charity work (instead of their design work) for a change.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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