The New York Post has taken aim at Irish rock star Bono's charitable One campaign, who's mission statement is to 'wipe out AIDS and poverty.'
According to the Post the $15 million nonprofit 'bombarded' their newsroom with freebies last week in an attempt to get favorable press for its push for billions in African AIDS funding from President Obama.
But the Post complains that One gives only a pittance of its own proceeds to its hunger and health causes.
Items distributed to the city's newsrooms in search of press included a $15 bag of Starbucks coffee, a $15 Moleskine leather notebook, a $20 water bottle and a plastic ruler.
When contacted Kimberly Hunter, the spokeswoman for DC-based ONE, declined to tell the Post exactly how much money the organization shelled out for the publicity blitz.
'Sometimes it's pretty hard to get through to reporters with the information about the lives of the world's poorest people,' Hunter told the Post. 'We think it's important enough to try and break through the clutter. That's why we sent the boxes.'
Daniel Borochoff of the American Institute of Philanthropy in Chicago, a charity watchdog group, called the move risky. 'There could be recipients - or donors - who might think that the money they spent could have instead been donated to help their cause,' he said.
But Hunter clarified that 'does advocacy work, not charity work.'
According to the Post the nonprofit took in $14,993,873 in public donations in 2008, the latest year for which tax records are available. Of that, $184,732 was distributed to three charities, according to the IRS filing. More than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries.