Starbuckian hypocrisy

"A little parody is the spice of life, like cinnamon atop your latte"

By Letters to the Editor

Published June 2, 2000 7:48PM (EDT)

Hot water: Starbucks sues a citizen BY PAUL BRANDUS (06/01/00)

The Starbucks logo shown in the parody is similar to one of the official logos the company used before it "cleaned up" the siren. The evolution of the siren in the logo has gone from a really seductive and wild-looking thing with exposed breasts and a navel, holding each end of a split tail around her ears (making one think that if she had naughty bits, you would certainly be seeing them); to a rather more comely version, still with breasts and the edges of the tail around the sides of her head; to one without visible nipples but still a navel and tail; to the Disney-esque thing seen today. As the company grew, they seemed to be cleaning her up for the lowest common denominator.

A collection of old logos is still visible in the Starbucks corporate office, which I think represents the kind of popularizing and pasteurization the company has imposed on itself over the years. I used to work there in the earlier days (before the 2,000 store mark) and while it started out fun, it turned into just another slick retailer. I like the company and the product, but for this Seattle native, Starbucks has become just another giant food retailer whose image is as carefully fabricated as grunge was by some guys from New York City.

-- Leslie Strom

If Starbucks was so very worried about the reputation of its trademark, they wouldn't have let its precious logo be used in "Austin Powers" as a symbol of corporate greed. Ah, but that was "product placement," wasn't it?

That's the last latte I'll ever buy from them.

-- Tom Pease

Starbucks needs to chill a little. With regard to being a squeaky clean company, check out the number of sexual harrassment suits against it in the last couple of years.

Anyway, a little parody is the spice of life, like cinnamon atop your latte purchased at Seattle's Best or Tully's.

-- Mark W. Rosenquist

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