Starbucks (SBUX) will begin offering a one-sheet newspaper that will cover the key issues which will have to be addressed by the candidates for president. The product is called the Good Sheet,
The paper will be produced by “Good, which was founded two years ago, has an editorial emphasis on philanthropy and activism.”
Now people can come to the chain and read about energy policy, health care costs, and defense spending.
While it is nice that Starbucks wants to help educate the man in the street so that he can better understand the issues of the day, the chain runs the very real risk of being viewed as helping one side of the election or the other.
The nuts reading the free paper will all look for messages between the lines. These may be the same people who believe that they can hear radio transmissions from Mars if they put on foil hats, but there are a lot of them.
According to The New York Times, “The Good sheet features one advertiser an issue, which covers the cost of the sheet; Starbucks has not paid Good for the sheets.” If an marketer who is giving a lot of money to John McCain happens to be that sponsor, people may get the wrong impression. The editors at Good may be taking positions in their paper. While these do not make it to the Starbucks product, it could be a nuisance
Starbucks has enough problems. It does not need patrons boycotting its stores because they believe that the chain has decided to support either liberal or reactionary positions. People are funny that way in an election year. They look for partisanship everywhere.