The multi-functional lip butter

Written by Kiran Yadav | Updated: Apr 27 2008, 05:37am hrs
You can pay to look good and be noble in the bargain too. The case in point is The Body Shop, a global retailer of toiletries and cosmetics. The brand is encouraging you to just move your lips for HIV/AIDS. No, the advocacy doesnt involve talking in this case. Buy their limited edition Guarana lip butter to do the needful. Launched in collaboration with MTV, the campaign has pledged the entire sale proceeds from the lip butter to fund HIV awareness and prevention for the youth, with the help of the US-based Staying Alive Foundation.

The brand is confident of its ability to raise a good amount. It has a past record of a similar scheme to feel confident. Launched last year across 48 markets worldwide, The Body Shops special edition Rougeberry Eau de Toilette managed to raise 4,30,000 for the Foundation. It helped disburse grants to 85 people to mobilise HIV prevention efforts.

We want to build on this success, which is why were donating 100% of the profits from the sales of the product to the Foundation. We are confident that our message will reach thousands of young people this time as well, shares Peter Saunders, CEO of The Body Shop International.

A laudable effort considering that over 40 million people continue to live with HIV and AIDS globally. The infection claimed five million people last year alone. Worse still, nearly half of the victims struck by HIV are under 24 years of age. India-based Naz Foundation received a grant of $12,000 from Staying Alive this year.

The grant helped us reach out to 1,000 truck helpers. We talked to the stakeholders including the truck owners and the dhabawallas, distributed condoms, made videos to reach out to them. This year we plan to target the transgender community, says Naz Foundation coordinator Rahul Singh.

Meanwhile, MTV is taking the campaign to over 508 million households in 160 countries through its network. Education, currently, is the only vaccine we have to fight this epidemic. The more young people talk about HIV and safe sex, the better. It will give them the knowledge to protect themselves, says Bill Roedy, vice chairman, MTV Networks.

But do people buy merely for the sake of contributing to a cause Some do. Shagun Vij, research consultant with IMRB is one such consumer. I had to buy something to nourish my lips and when I chanced upon the Guarana Lip Butter and the campaign placard kept next to it, I decided to spend on it rather than any other brand. It was an easy choice, says Vij. A pro bono one too!