Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Response to: "Can Starbucks Buy A 'Saving Africa' Image for a Nickel?"

William Easterly emailed his blog to Starbucks, receiving this response from its Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. Some interesting things have been pointed out in the comments section. Why wouldn't Starbucks, then, promote the fact that they have in fact donated the equivalent of 4.2 million doses of antiretroviral drugs on their site? Also, what does this amount to? (I can imagine that it would depend on which brand is used etc. I also understand that treatment involves regular checkups and adjustments to the dosage. It would seem like quantitatively accessing one's contributions via doses would consequently be misleading in terms of its actual effect on Africa.)

Her response also fails to give Starbucks that glow of a company really doing something to help Africa. Evidently the "equivalent to 4.2 million doses" statement means that the money is spent on other things. If Starbucks has really contributed so much, shouldn't they be informed about where this money is going? It still stands that the Red campaign's polish and flare does little to underscore the real issues on the continent. How much has been spent on advertising for Red versus actually spent on Africa? Read here.