Starbucks coffee chain petitions to end federal government impasse
NEW YORK — Starbucks, better known for its piping hot coffee, is throwing itself into the middle of another hot national debate.
The world's biggest coffee chain said on Thursday that it will ask customers and businesses to sign a petition calling for an end to the partial government shutdown that has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job.
The petition, which will be available at all 11,000 locations to sign beginning on Friday, calls for reopening the government, paying debts on time and passing a long-term budget deal by the end of the year.
Company CEO Howard Schultz is trying to get the CEOs of the nation's largest companies to sign.
The move is unusual for a company like Starbucks. While big brands generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, Starbucks and its outspoken CEO in recent years have run toward the spotlight by trying to gain a voice in national political issues.
Because the company's efforts are generally nonpartisan and unlikely to cause controversy, marketing and corporate image experts say they burnish Starbucks' reputation as a socially conscious company.
“It's always risky when brands mix politics and business,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York-based branding firm Landor Associates. “But the benefit for Starbucks likely outweighs the risk.”
Last month, Schultz asked customers not to bring guns into Starbucks stores. In December, the chain asked its employees to write “Come together” on cups to send a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax and spending cuts that was scheduled to become effective Dec. 31, 2012.
And in 2011, Schultz asked other chief executives to join him in halting campaign contributions until politicians stopped their partisan bickering over the debt ceiling, which led to a downgrade in the country's credit rating. The CEOs of more than 100 companies, from AOL to Zipcar, took the pledge.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Overhaul possible for West Mifflin’s Century III Mall
- Chevron settles fatal shale well fire lawsuit, state claims for nearly $6M
- No end in sight for casino market saturation in northeastern U.S.
- Google adds HBO access, mobile payment to next version of Android
- UPMC offering buyouts to 3,500 employees in cost-cutting move
- Weak first-quarter economic report anticipated
- Task force to plot ways of easing gas glut in Pennsylvania via pipelines
- Avago Technologies to pay $37 billion for chipmaker rival Broadcom
- Asian sell-off, Greece uncertainty rattle Wall Street
- Pitt study suggests health law attracting young to balance insurers’ risks
- Shoppers pay premium for organic chicken