Thursday, April 19, 2018

14116: Starbucks Store Bias.

The New York Times reported Starbucks will shut 8,000 stores as employees undergo racial-bias training after an incident involving the arrest of two Black men in Philadelphia that sparked nationwide outrage. Look for Brad Jakeman to whine that it’s another case of the “vocal minority” injuring a brand that has done so much for racial harmony over the years. Regardless, the scenario does demonstrate the power of the public to ignite change by threatening to boycott, adversely affecting a brand’s image and bottom line. Unfortunately, rallying the public to demand the end of exclusivity on Madison Avenue has never succeeded. For starters, people tend to be unaware of White advertising agencies’ existence at all. And even attempting to target the advertisers who employ and partner with such shops would likely fail to persuade the brands to mandate equality. Besides, the White advertising agencies would defend themselves by presenting the patronizing smokescreens and heat shields—inner-city internships, minority mentoring, tax-deductible donations to ADCOLOR® and The 3% Movement, etc.—designed to create the illusion of inclusion. Hell, the culturally clueless hucksters would probably advise Starbucks to launch a limited edition Coffy coffee to quiet the protests.

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