Starbucks cups get political
In capital, lattes come with message on budget impasse.
NEW YORK — Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington.
The world’s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C., area to scribble the words “Come Together” on cups for drink orders Thursday and Friday. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”
It’s the first time employees at Starbucks are being asked to write anything other than customers’ names on cups.
While companies generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, the plea to “Come Together” is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy. If anything, Starbucks could score points with customers and burnish its image as a socially conscious company.
This isn’t the first time the coffee chain is using its platform to send a political message. In the summer of 2011, Schultz also asked other CEOs and the public to stop making campaign contributions until politicians dealt with the debt ceiling crisis that led to a downgrade in the country’s credit rating.
For the latest push, Starbucks is taking out an ad in the Washington Post Thursday showing a cup with the words “Come Together” on it.
As for whether customers will understand the “Come Together” message is related to the fiscal cliff, Schultz said Starbucks will use social media to explain.