Peston recounts being told by U2's Bono that the Product Red charity could change the world.
A proportion of the revenue from products in the special Red brand would go to Bono's huge Global Fund to fights Aids, Malaria and tuberculosis in Africa and the developing world.
According to the magazine Advertising Age, Red-branding companies (such as Apple, American Express and Gap) have spent up to $100m advertising and marketing the Red products - yet only $18m has been raised for charity so far.
"Rather than simplifying the basic activities of donating and shopping, it complicates them, because the decision about which charities to support and the choice of which goods and services to buy are different kinds of decision. Rolling them together is confusing," writes Peston.
"It’s predicated on the notion that most of us would like to give to charity, but only if we get something in return (a stylish mobile phone or an iPod) and only if we can flaunt a logo showing just how good we are. Also, it rather implies that we are too lazy to think about which charities we should support.
"Most of us, surely, are better than that," he concludes.