Starbucks Public Relations Social Media

Dear Starbucks, Thanks But No Thanks.


By Dan Grech | Marketing Consultant

March 14, 2012 | 3 min read

Everyone has their own opinion on Starbucks's coffee give-away today. Here's a blog I stumbled across by Sam Golden (@GoldenGatsby) about the matter in a way that nicely sums up my stance, not selling your ethical and personal views for the sake of a free hot drink...

"If you live in the UK then no doubt you’ll have seen the massive advertising campaign surrounding Starbuck’s latest attempt to woo the general public. Anyone who visits one of their stores today is entitled to a free latte in exchange for their name. This kind of personalised service is becoming more and more prevalent in business especially in the age of social media where everyone is connected, corporations have to appear to care in order to get hold of your money.

Obviously there’s no reason to complain about a free latte but a few tweets and adverts in every national paper doesn’t make up for the socially irresponsible market strategy Starbucks has adopted in the UK. In the book ‘No Logo‘ by Canadian author Naomi Klein, Klein claims Starbucks has entered into some pretty scrupulous anti-competitive practices to maintain dominance of the UK market. These practices including buying out competitors’ leases, deliberately operating at a loss, and saturating the market by opening several stores in close proximity to each other. Obviously this is bad news for smaller independent stores who don’t have the budget for mass advertising campaigns even if they do make a mean macchiato. You can read more criticisms of Starbucks here.

It’s for that reason that I encourage you to click the button below and use the power of social media for a good cause, tweeting Starbucks saying thanks for the free coffee & letting them know you won’t buy anything until they stop destroying the final remnants of any coffee shop culture we have here in the UK."

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