Starbucks Stirs Up Some Controversy


“Show us what makes you proud to be British” sounds like a lovely tweet. Except when being sent from the @StarbucksIE account, which targets Irish followers.

The coffee corporation’s Diamond Jubilee promotional campaign was going swimmingly, until the above social media faux pas caused them to suddenly sink. What many assumed was an embarrassing, temporary slip-up quickly spiraled into what several press outlets (i.e. The New York Times, BBC World and The Huffington Post to name a few) deemed as a “social media crisis.”

Oh, Starbucks, get with the times. It’s not 1921 anymore… Ireland has been removed from the United Kingdom for way too long for you to be making such a silly mistake. Remember that whole civil war thing– killed thousands of people? Many were civilians?

Apparently, the Irish were not too forgiving of the tweeted inaccuracy. Several people fired back angry responses:

@StarbucksIEthe ie stands forIreland, awaiting the apology before I visit your stores again.

@StarbucksIE you are clueless pricks and your coffee tastes like baby formula.

Starbucks promptly responded with an attempt at sincerity:

“We erroneously posted to our Irish Twitter page meaning to post to the UK only. Customers in Ireland: We’re sorry.”

We all know that content on the internet is written in permanent ink, not erasable pencil, so to speak. Will this minor mistake affect Starbucks’s bottom line in the future? I will certainly be staying tuned.

And a word to all those corporate suits learning the “oh-so-modern” technique of social media: proofreading and research will never go out of style.