Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz defended the company’s new hashtag #RaceTogether that has been criticized for being naive and using racial tensions to boost its bottom line. U.S. workers will write “Race Together” on cups. Starbucks also plans to start publishing “conversation guides” on this topic with specific questions about race and racial views.
This campaign is the most recent example of how big companies are trying to tie its brand to big social issues. In hope to draw more attention from consumers because they can see that the companies project a feel-good image and embrace social causes.
Many people have been ridiculing Starbucks new campaign saying that “its opportunistic and inappropriate for a coffee chain to insert itself into such an important issue.” People also find it strange to have a Batista make your order and try to speak to you about you race relations.
Schultz claims that this isn’t a P.R exercise or marketing. I agree that it is important to discuss these big issues in everyday life. It can help people be less blind about social issues and can open up the door for conversation.