Priest in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

Costa or Starbucks? An example of a PR backfire

I’d almost feel sorry for Starbucks if it wasn’t for the fact that whilst they certainly do produce a vast amount of mediocre coffee they are a massive pain in the butt that has driven the quality of coffee in London to the floor and beyond…. here in Melbourne the vast selection of independent coffee shops results in some of the best java in the world… I’m not saying that Costa are any better, they’re just smaller, and yes I do prefer their coffee, and their stores and frankly – their brand.

So why is Starbucks making this complaint a PR disaster? If upheld it’ll show that the big SB has something to worry about – to be specific it shows that whilst they’re niggling over the small print of an advertising campaign they seem to have forgotten about the customer. Fight back, take Costa, improve your coffee, change your stores put a little of the zest that you seem to have in buckets with your off-brand stores and run your own survey. Simples.


Coffee chain may count cost of advertising claim
Dominic Walsh
The Times
05 Nov 2009

Costa, the coffee shop chain owned by Whitbread, could find itself in hot water over its claim in its advertising campaign that “7 out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa”. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is understood to have concluded in a…read more…


© Copyright 2009 Times Newspapers Ltd.

1 Comment

  1. James Clark

    I saw that advertisement in London and I was looking for the asterisk with a disclaimer saying “as polled by customers entering Costa Coffee”.

    Speaking of Costa Coffee, I’ve been working in Budapest and in the last year they have opened up a few branches here, while Starbucks haven’t even arrived yet. Costa have also opened up branches in Belgrade, so they look like they are beating Starbucks at their own game in Eastern Europe.

    At the end of the day though, you can’t beat a coffee from Melbourne.