Tuesday, June 3, 2008

World Wrestling Entertainment Presents: Slutbucks vs. The Resistance

There has been a strong reaction from a San Diego based Christian group towards the re-introduction of the original Starbucks' logo. The group, "The Resistance" has called for a national boycott of Starbucks, and claims that the logo is "naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute", and called the company "Slutbucks."

I researched the details about Starbucks and the logo in Wikipedia. I'm noting some discrepancies quoted between the two sources:

Wikipedia describes the first version of the logo as based upon an authentic 15th century European woodcut of a topless siren with a fully visible double fish tail. The BBC article is quoted that it's based on a 16th century Norse design.

The other notable discrepancy is that BBC states that Starbucks has just opened its first outlet in Argentina. I was in Argentina in March 2005 and Starbucks was already established there. Back in 2005, Starbucks may not have been thriving as well as it has now, because of the strong café culture in the European-influenced city of Buenos Aires. These are minor details to point out. The crux of this week's blog is the diverse reactions on the new logo.

A friend of mine felt so strongly about the Resistance view towards the new logo, and shared a letter he wrote to the group. It's worthwhile sharing it, because it provides a healthy rebuttal to what others may deem as an ignorant or close minded opinion of the Resistance.

KS wrote:

I was in New York last December. I went to the Museum of Modern Art and took a picture of the original statue. I would like to send it to you. I didn't think it was slutty at all. I don't necessarily like large corporations like Starbucks but it just sounds ignorant to call the label "slutty" when it is based on art. Do you think Michelangelo's "David" is slutty?

I think they (Starbucks) are trying to drum up controversy to raise their sales that's one thing and it is shameless. It doesn't take a Christian to realize that it's disgraceful tactic if that's what they are truly doing. On the flip side, if you are opposing it to gain publicity for your group, you are no better than they are. Sadly, I feel it is true for both of you. Only YOU know that for certain.

I would agree with KS' analysis that Starbucks is re-introducing a modified version of the original logo to boost the company's sales which is reported to be slowing down.

(The modified version, introduced in April 2008, is part of the "Back to Basics" campaign. It features hair covering the nipples of the siren.)

One of the problem that one analyst (Will Smale of the BBC) describes the downturn in the sales is due to an image problem (no pun intended.) The article was published in February 1st , 2008

(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7219458.stm )

Starbucks has fully saturated the North American market that many consumers have thought of the product on the same level as McDonald's and Burger King.

"It may not sell burgers and fries, but the perception is that the bigger and more corporate Starbucks has become, the worse customer service and quality have become. "

Mr. Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, has expressed that he wants to win back the consumer by returning the "romance and the theatre" of the product. They have introduced a website where consumers can log on to mystarbuckidea website (http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/home/home.jsp ) where the headline reads: "Help shape the future of Starbucks—with your ideas"

In a nutshell, I'll put my neck out there and say that The Resistance and Starbucks are deserving of each other. They should duke it out on the ring of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment.) The bout features Mr. Schultz versus one of the 3000-member of The Resistance. It would be a circus fight, where the players are pretending at being serious contenders for the media's attention.

-Analyn Revilla

Other Sources: BBC News

1 comment:

kjen said...

So even Starbucks is using sex/nude women (because when sex is being sold it's normally hawked using women's bodies) to sell coffee. These are desperate times indeed.