Starbucks whips up controversy with new ‘Race Together’ campaign

Photo: ABC News

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Starbucks might be writing something other than your name and order on the side of your cup.

The well known coffee chain is launching a new campaign that will ask employees to write “Race Together” on the side of customers’ cups to address race relations.

The plan is to start a conversation between baristas and customers.

“What if we were to write ‘Race Together’ on every Starbucks cup, and that facilitated a conversation between you and our customers?” Starbucks CEO Howard Schutlz says in a video message to employees in explaining the campaign. “And what if our customers as a result of that had a renewed level of understanding and sensitivity about the issue, and they themselves would spread that to their own sphere of influence?”

Not everyone is on-board with this new campaign, and it has whipped up controversy on social media. It has created such a stir that the company’s senior vice president of communications deleted his Twitter account temporarily because of all the criticism. He says he felt “personally attacked in a cascade of negativity.”

Even with negative feedback, Schultz says the campaign will continue.

“Some people have said, ‘Howard, this is not a subject we should touch. This is not for you. This is not for a company. This is for someone else.’ I reject that. I reject that completely,” he says in the video.



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