Starbucks’ CEO Takes On Political and Economic Gridlock In Washington

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, wants to see American on an Upward Spiral.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Shultz has convinced more than 100 business leaders to join him in a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

According to The Seattle Times, Starbucks cut 39,000 jobs between September 2008 and September 2010, but has hired 36,000 people in the U.S. and Canada since January and expects to hire 70,000 more in the U.S. over the next six to 12 months.

I like to see people of means taking action to help the people of this nation, but I’m curious about how this type of advocacy can change one’s perception of the brand. Is Starbucks a company to buy from because they care? Or do you just like the coffee?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.