Fishburn Hedges to aid Starbucks’ reputation

Starbucks UK has handed Fishburn Hedges a wide-ranging corporate communications and public affairs brief after a three-way pitch.

Starbucks:  diversifying beyond coffee
Starbucks: diversifying beyond coffee

The two-year incumbent, Cohn & Wolfe, did not repitch.

Although it is keen to promote its CSR commitments, Starbucks continues to face global opposition on a number of issues, and stands accused by media and pressure groups of homogenising British high streets.

Two weeks ago, a branch of Starbucks in Beijing’s Forbidden City was forced to close after seven years following massive protests.

Starbucks UK director of marketing Brian Waring said: ‘Fishburn Hedges will advise and support Starbucks UK on a communications programme covering all corporate audiences to enhance awareness and ­understanding of Starbucks in the UK, its people and its values.’ Waring added that it was too early to comment on specific campaigns and issues.

Starbucks said the review was ‘part of our ongoing commitment to regularly review suppliers.’ The comp­any continues to retain Paratus Communications for local and national consumer communications. The agency has held that account for two years.

Recent non-coffee Starbucks initiatives include its involvement in the release of Paul McCartney’s album Memory Almost Full. This week the retailer announced that in September its music label would also release a new album from Joni Mitchell. It is also set to enter the premium chocolate market.

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