In Full-Page NYT Ad, Starbucks' Schultz Promises No Campaign Donations

Howard-Schultz-Starbucks01 Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, has pledged to withhold campaign donations until Washington gets it together. As a full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times, Schultz communicated his frustration in an open letter. The pledge, which he says 100 business leaders have signed, includes two parts:

"First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring."

 Discussion Starters:

  • Read Schultz's entire letter. Which arguments do you consider strongest and weakest in his appeal?
  • How does Schultz balance logical arguments, emotional appeal, and credibility in his letter? What examples do you see of each?
  • From a branding perspective, what are the benefits and risks of a corporate CEO publicizing a message such as this?