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Take Another Look: Starbucks’ Holiday Red Cup Scandal

Starbucks cups

Photo credit: Starbucks

When Starbucks removed the wreaths and reindeer from its holiday coffee cups in favor of a plain red cup, the company probably didn’t expect the backlash it created. (Or maybe it did?) Many in the Christian community reacted vehemently, saying the new design was anti-Christmas. Others called the backlash silly, many citing that it’s just a cup.

Apparently not. It spawned a viral video with 15 million hits, Twitter campaigns for and against the coffee giant, and a call from Donald Trump to boycott the brand.

When the cups rolled out in late October, Starbucks Vice President Jeffrey Fields said the company “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” He added that the company has become a sanctuary during the holiday season and it was embracing simplicity and quietness.

Whatever side you’re on, the controversy just shows how culturally relevant Starbucks’ seasonal cups are. That likely won’t damage the brand in the long run.

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