An entrepreneur at heart, I subscribe to a great email newsletter that reports on unique businesses springing up around the globe (subscribe at springwise.com). Last week, one of the featured businesses was a Los Angeles based company that shares the love each time you purchase a condom by donating one in a developing country (http://bit.ly/ipuIeY). Besides cause marketing and condoms making strange bedfellows, I found this proposition humorous on many levels:
- Priorities: Let’s see, should we give them something to eat, a shirt and pants, a place to call home, or a condom? DEFINITELY THE CONDOM!
- Arrogance: Imagine Bill Gates giving everybody in America a stick of deodorant. Sure, we all need it, but rich people giving poor people something so trivial comes across as demeaning and insulting.
- Purpose: Is the problem that people in developing countries cannot get a condom, or that they do not understand why they should use one? Not sure, but let’s just do a fly-over and sprinkle the condoms!
- Strategy: Is a consumer in the U.S. going to choose this higher priced condom over another because a freebie is shipped to Botswana? Do buyers get a charitable tax deduction for 50% of the price?