Starbucks Corp wades into political waters again, becoming the latest voice in a chorus calling on Congress and the White House to end their partisan bickering and strike a budget agreement that averts the so-called fiscal cliff. And the coffee company has a powerful tool to help spread the word: its signature cup.
Chief Executive Howard Schultz has asked D.C.-area Starbucks employees to write “come together” on customers’ cups from now through Friday, as the president meets with congressional leaders to negotiate a deal that prevents automatic spending cuts and tax hikes from taking effect on Jan. 1.
The “come together” campaign is in fact not an homage to the Beatles, who wrote a hit song by the same name back in 1969. Rather, as Schultz wrote on the company’s blog, the cup campaign is “a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue.”
“We’re paying attention, we’re greatly disappointed in what’s going on and we deserve better,” Schultz told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Schultz expressed similar frustration during last year’s debt ceiling debacle, when he urged fellow business leaders to withhold campaign contributions until Congress and the White House came to a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit. That push did little to temper Washington gridlock, but here’s hoping the best way to a lawmaker’s heart is through his cup of coffee.
Be sure to catch more of this story on tonight’s Sideshow!