Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive and U2 pop star Bono together made their presence at the Cannes Lions Festival earlier this week to discuss Apple and Product Red’s partnership in raising funds for AIDS/HIV programs. So far Apple has raised $75 million for the (RED) Global Fund.
During the interview, Bono called Apple “Annoyingly quiet” about its philanthropic efforts. On stage Bono pointed out that Apple does not prominently display the Product Red logo on the products that support the effort.
“Where’s the (Red) branding?” he asked Ive. “Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”
On Wednesday, Product RED Clarified Bono’s comments through their Blog Post saying comments by Bono were made in jest.
The blog reads:
During the session, Bono teased Jony about Apple’s modesty and reluctance to take credit for its charitable work, including the whopping $75 million Apple has donated to the fight against AIDS through its partnership with (RED). In a reminder that humor doesn’t always travel out of context, some of Bono’s teasing and faux outrage at Apple’s modesty were reported as actual criticism of the company. Nothing could be further from the truth of course. Bono has been one of Apple’s biggest supporters, pushing back publicly on those who have made negative assumptions about the company’s charitable work, simply because they don’t shout it from the rooftops. That modesty is their right, and in many ways admirable. Bono and all of us at (RED) are so grateful to Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Jony Ive and the entire Apple team for the game-changing impact they have made for (RED) and the fight against this disease.