Bono Crowdsources New Ideas to Help Promote AIDS Awareness Charity

U2 frontman also used his talk at Cannes Lions to playfully gibe Apple

Richard Bord/Getty Images
June 24, 2014 5:15 PM ET

Bono playfully gibed Apple for their long-standing partnership with the U2 frontman's global nonprofit, (RED), during his presentation at Cannes Lions, Billboard reports.

Readers' Poll: The 10 Greatest U2 Albums

Specifically, Bono leveled his "criticism" at friend and Apple's Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive, who was seated nearby. "One of the reasons it's such a credit to have Jony Ive on the stage is because Apple is so fucking annoyingly quiet about the fact they've raised $75 million," said the singer. "Nobody knows!"

To prove his point, Bono showed off his official (RED) iPad cover, noting that the nonprofit's logo languished on the inside cover, constantly obscured by the tablet itself. "Where's the (RED) branding?" he asked. "Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They're like a religious cult."

Bono went on to urge other representatives from various brands and agencies to partner with his nonprofit, which funds research and the distribution of medicine that stops the spread of HIV. While funding has stalled in recent years, U2 and Bank of America raised over $3 million in February to fight AIDS thanks to a Super Bowl ad promoting the band's new single, "Invisible."

"The idea that we might get close to an AIDS-free generation, and then not get there, and for what? Because the heat isn't on the issue," Bono said.

Bono also crowdsourced new ideas to help fight HIV, with a few audience members pitching the singer on the spot. Michael Trautmann, co-founder of German agency thjnk, offered the frontman dibs on a new top-level domain (i.e. .com or .net) called .hiv, which would donate registration fees to AIDS charities.

As for U2, while the band did drop "Invisible" earlier this year — even performing the track on Jimmy Fallon's inaugural episode of The Tonight Show — an official album release date, or plans for a tour, have yet to be announced. Despite rumors that the Danger Mouse-produced LP was being pushed back to 2015, a rep confirmed the band is still on track to release an album this year.

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