A new Starbucks advertisement promoting transgender rights has caught the attention of social media users in India, with some people calling for the boycott of the coffee giant over the message behind the campaign.

Starbucks released the advertisement on May 10 with the tagline "It Starts With Your Name." The ad showed a transgender woman meeting her father after several years to reconcile their relations at a Starbucks outlet.

Named "Arpit" by her parents at the time of birth, the woman now identifies herself as "Arpita." While her mother extended support to her through the transformation, the father was yet to accept her new identity.

The father then orders three coffees at Starbucks under the name "Arpita" in a pleasant surprise for the daughter, indicating the man had accepted her new identity.

"Your name defines who you are - whether it's Arpit or Arpita. At Starbucks, we love and accept you for who you are. Because being yourself means everything to us," Starbucks India tweeted, with the hashtag #ItStartsWithYourName.

The marketing campaign, focusing on transgender rights and inclusivity, went viral on social media within hours, garnering more than 700k video views and 3.3 million tweet views since being shared.

The advertisement sparked a debate among social media users, with one section extending support to the message, while others raised a boycott call against the coffee giant.

"It's refreshing to come across such uplifting content, especially in today's world," one user wrote.

"One of the most beautiful and touching ads I have ever seen," another posted on Twitter.

However, several other users condemned the need for introducing such campaigns and began trending the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks on Twitter.

Critics claimed the Starbucks ad was too woke for its own good, and found it irrelevant for a multinational coffee brand to preach morality in India.

"Seriously, we will deal with our issues when they come up; the last thing I need is preaching by a Western MNC. You take care of serving coffee," one user tweeted.

"Fail to understand the need for a multinational to get into sensitive topics in a country of hypersensitive sentimental people," another wrote.

Even though Seattle, Washington-based Starbucks expanded rapidly in India through a joint venture with Tata Consumer Products Ltd., the coffee giant has been reporting steady growth in the country since its launch. In FY23, Starbucks' India sales crossed the $10-billion mark sales mark, up 71% from FY22, for the first time since it began operations in the country in October 2012.

Starbucks has also seen continuous growth in the number of customers and sales over the years in the U.S. Last November, the coffee outlet reported same-store sales growth of 11%, resulting from an uptick in traffic and people spending more on average in the U.S. The company also saw eight of its 10 highest sales days in its history in the U.S. last year.

The controversy surrounding the advertisement comes as the Supreme Court of India continues to hear multiple pleas seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages in the country. On the second day of the hearing last month, the country's apex court heard arguments that legal recognition of same-sex marriage will help non-heterosexual couples avail benefits that are generally accorded to others.

The cases, brought by several LGTBQ couples in the country, face opposition from the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Central government opposed petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, telling the Supreme Court the "legislative understanding of marriage in the Indian statutory and personal law regime" entails only to marriage between a biological man and biological woman, and added any interference "would cause a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country and in accepted societal values."

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