“Bono, could I interest you in some Via?”You damn doves get off

“Bono, could I interest you in some Via?”

You damn doves get off my computer screen! Banner ads on the Web are sending white birds flapping across our monitors to promote Starbucks’ new Love Project. It’s a co-venture with anti-AIDS charity (Red), which earmarks a portion of a customer’s purchase to fight that disease in Africa. Thus, if you drop $15 at Starbucks, the company gives $1 to (Red) and gives you a CD featuring John Legend, the Dave Matthews Band (whose leader resides here), and U2. (You just knew Bono was involved, didn’t you?)

We’re all in favor of charity, of course, and SBUX CEO Howard Schultz is no doubt sincere when he proclaims in a company press release that the partnership has already paid for “6 million daily doses of antiretroviral medicine.” Peruse the official Web site (which launches today), and you’ll find other charitable spending possibilities, including $15 coffee mugs and water bottles carrying the (Red) logo, so others may note your virtue. And resurgent Starbucks, whose sales are flat, may benefit from increased customer flow.