Starbucks Giving Away Free Coffee In A Bid To Push Government Shutdown Solution

on October 09 2013 6:23 AM
Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman & CEO
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz Reuters

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz is offering free coffee to customers in a bid to get the nation's lawmakers to come together to end the government shutdown, which has dragged on for more than a week now.

In a message on the coffee chain giant’s website, Schultz explained that from Wednesday until Friday, customers who buy someone else their favorite beverage will be given a free tall brewed coffee in return.

“It's that simple – ‘pay it forward,’ and Starbucks will pay you back. I believe you will agree that this is a different yet authentic way Starbucks can help our fellow citizens to Come Together by supporting one another during a particularly challenging time,” Schultz's message, which was posted on Tuesday, said.

Schultz's latest campaign, which he hopes will help people “connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country” comes just one day after he penned an open letter calling leaders to put citizenship above partisanship.

“Like so many of you, I find myself utterly disappointed by the level of irresponsibility and dysfunction we are witness to with our elected political leadership,” Schultz wrote. “I’d like to encourage you to consider what your companies and organizations can do to help shift the norms of our country back toward civility, compromise and problem-solving,” he said.

This is not the first time the Starbucks CEO has spoken up about political issues. According to reports, in 2011, Schultz urged fellow businessmen to halt political donations until President Barack Obama and the Congress worked out issues such as the budget deficit and unemployment.

But, his latest campaign, according to analysts, is not expected to have much of an impact on politicians. Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at The NPD Group, told Associated Press that it lacks the ability to make lawmakers think twice, but added that it was a great marketing move for Starbucks.

"Will it work on the political level? No. Won't make a dent. Will it work on the commercial end? Absolutely," he said.

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