Lipstick raises $721 million over 25 years to fight AIDS

viva glam mac cosmetics hiv/aids

Originally founded by Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan, MAC Cosmetics markets a wide range of cosmetics.  In 1994, they launched Viva Glam lipsticks. They decided then to dedicate all sales of Viva Glam lipsticks to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

They’ve done so ever since, as MAC Cosmetics states on their website.

“Every cent of the selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick is donated to organizations that support the health and rights of people of All Ages, All Races and All Genders.”

In the years since 1994, sales of the lipstick raised over $721 million to fight HIV/AIDS.

That fundraising subsequently enabled the MAC Viva Glam Fund to distributed 10,000 grants of various sizes to approximately 1,800 different international HIV/AIDS programs.

Estee Lauder

Only a year after the launch of Viva Glam, Estee Lauder bought a majority interest in MAC Cosmetics in 1995.

However, the cosmetic giant immediately decided to continue the strategy.

Estee Lauder executive group president John Demsey oversees the fund.

He said, “I had no clue or expectation that this would have gone as big as it has.

“I hope that day comes that the money’s not needed for HIV.

“But I know that, even today, if there was a cure, a charitable organisation would need to exist to ensure that the medication and the services got to people who would never be able to afford it.”

Viva Glam Celebrity Brand Ambassadors

From the beginning the concept relied on celebrity brand ambassadors to promote the product.

Originally, RuPaul spearheaded the campaign.

Afterwards, other celebrities including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, and Lil’ Kim took on the role.

2016, the year of Ariana Grande as brand ambassador, saw the highest sales.

Rihanna spoke about her time as brand ambassador.

“I’ve always been drawn to M·A·C because it isn’t a judgmental brand and I relate to that because I don’t consider myself judgmental.

“We both love having fun and we’re not ashamed of that.

“We’re not afraid to talk about sex and we want to encourage young people to be safe.

“HIV/AIDS is something that can be avoided.

“I think people just have to be aware of that…

“There’s not any religion or any culture or any race or any generation that cannot get AIDS or HIV.

Rihanna said everyone should “take responsibility for ourselves… know our status, and spread the word.”



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