Marketing Charity

Idiotic though the name may be, Apple’s iPod nano (Product) RED appears to have been something of a success. Certainly in the short time the 4GB version has been available, it has demonstrated its popularity sufficient to warrant the release of an 8GB version, and, as is always the case, Apple home pages the world over are plugging this release.

What struck me as slightly strange was the wording on the page for Apple’s iPod nano (Product) RED on Apple‘s Japanese site. For those not proficient in that East Asian language, I shall offer a translation:

When you buy an iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition, Apple will donate a part of the proceeds to a fund for combating worldwide AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Contrast this with the American English version:

Choose the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition and Apple will give $10 of its purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

The most obvious question is: which one is right? The British English version says “a portion of” instead of $10, but where did this talk of worldwide AIDS come from? What about TB? Malaria?

I’m not criticising it, of course – wherever the money ends up, it will be a force for good. But why do the Japanese get told a different story to the rest of us? It makes one wonder where the money is in fact going…

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