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Starbucks puts political message on coffee cups

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 08:16 hrs
St Paul's Cathedral is pictured behind signage for a Starbucks coffee shop in London

Washington: Customers heading into Starbucks in Washington this week will get more than just their normal dose of caffeine. The international coffee company has asked baristas in the US capital to write "Come Together" on each cup sold as a message to lawmakers to compromise and reach a deal on the impending "fiscal cliff".

"I think it's a good idea, there are not many companies willing to try and get involved to steer the government in the right direction," Imhotep Yakub, 36, told RIA Novosti Wednesday while standing in line waiting for coffee at a Starbucks in Washington.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks chief executive officer, has asked baristas (person who serves in a coffee bar) at approximately 120 stores in the Washington area to write "Come Together" on every coffee cup when serving customers this week, CNN reported.

Schultz wrote in a blog entry posted Wednesday on the company's website that he hopes this "simple message will serve as a holiday reminder from Starbucks of the spirit that has always bridged differences and that we all have the power to come together and make a difference during every season of the year".

This is the first time that Starbucks has asked employees to write anything on cups other than customers' names.

Congress has until the end of the year to work out a deal with US President Barack Obama and approve a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" and the automatic tax increases and budget cuts that would kick in Jan 1.

Obama has been locked in a bitter standoff over a budget deal with the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives.

"Rather than be bystanders", Starbucks can use its "scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue", Schultz wrote.

This campaign is not the first political message Starbucks has sent to lawmakers. Last year, Schultz announced that the company would stop political contributions until officials developed a deficit-reduction plan and urged other businesses to do the same, USA Today reported.

Both political messages sent by Starbucks are "trying to solve the problems of the country by the two parties working together", Susan Eads Role, the executive director of a Washington nonprofit, told RIA Novosti while waiting for her cup of coffee at a Starbucks Wednesday.

As for the overall responsiveness of the new initiative, one Washington Starbucks manager said customers have been receptive to the message and that they "love it" and find it "fun".




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