St. Petersburg Times – The Seattle coffee chain has raised some eyebrows over its “The Way I See It” campaign, which prints quotes from thinkers, authors, athletes and entertainers on the side of your morning machiatto. The goal, according to the company, is to foster philosophical debate in its 9,000-plus coffeehouses.
The quotes aren’t all that inflammatory, though several mirror Starbucks’ hallmark tall-grande-venti pretentiousness. Take this one from film critic Roger Ebert: “A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it.”
The problem, critics say, is the company’s list of overwhelmingly liberal contributors, including Al Franken, Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Chuck D. Of the 31 contributors listed on Starbucks’ Web site, only one, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, offers a conservative viewpoint.
Considering Starbucks sells millions of cups of coffee each day – some specialty drinks at $4 and up – it’s no surprise some customers have complained to Starbucks’ Web site, labeling the campaign “offensive” and the company a proponent of “the destruction of family values and virtues.”
To be honest with you, I like this idea. More people should be confronted with the issues of the day during the course of their daily routines. But if a company like Starbucks is going to engage in such an undertaking it’d be nice if they’d allow for a little more diversity of thought.