Starbucks employs Cone for ‘fair trade’ message

SEATTLE: Starbucks has hired Boston-based Cone to handle PR for a brief to communicate the hot drinks company’s ‘socially responsible’ buying policies.

The campaign will be directed at NGOs, employees and consumers, according to Starbucks vice-president of public affairs Anthony Sprauve.

Starbucks held talks with five agencies in a two-month search before picking Cone.

Cone has relinquished its Dunkin’ Donuts account to avoid a possible conflict in representing the competitors.

Sprauve said: ‘Cone has in-depth knowledge of the coffee industry from its proven work with Dunkin’ Donuts.’

Cone said it would put seven people on the account.

Sprauve said a central message of the campaign will be ‘how Starbucks buys all its coffee in a responsible, sustainable manner’.

Major coffee processors have been heavily criticised by some groups for not doing more to promote fair-trade coffee, which pays farmers in developing countries living wages in exchange for their crops.

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