Social media has seized on the year-on-year stripping of Christmas-themed symbols from Starbucks’ famous ‘Red Cups’, with angry users tweeting #MerryChristmasStarbucks following a Breitbart London report on the company’s “War on Christmas”.
When the coffee chain launched their 2015 seasonal cup design there was a marked difference from prior years, with no actual decoration being offered on the 2015 cups. The #RedCups press release described the cups as a “more open way to usher in the holiday.”
Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam broke the story last week, with CNN, the Huffington Post, the Telegraph, TIME magazine and others all following Breitbart’s lead on the story of Christmas being eroded from the annually marketed Starbucks Christmas cups or “Red Cups.”
Members of the British Parliament, as well as Christian charities spoke out against the move, with Sir David Amess MP telling Breitbart London: “This is utter madness. Who was the idiot who thought this up? He should be sacked!”
Prior years have brandished illustrations from Christmas ornaments over evergreen tree branches to merry carolers and reindeer. Other years have been less obviously Christmas, but this year’s offering bears zero illustrative reference to the Christmas season.
Several stories have followed pondering the cultural “war on Christmas” and whether this year’s Starbucks seasonal cups are indicative of a greater cultural cleansing of Christmas in the West.
Social media commenters indicated their disappointment with the naked design. In one video, customer Joshua Feuerstein suggested that customers give their name as “Merry Christmas” to add a measure of Christmas back in to their coffee drinking experience.
As the Red Cups story developed, #MerryChristmasStarbucks began trending on social media. Both those attempting to re-infuse Christmas into the season and those who refuse the idea of a cultural “war on Christmas” to those that just think the new design is simply “boring” have utilised the hashtag.
— Jamie Wooten (@jamiewooten) November 5, 2015
— Michael Graham (@IAMMGraham) November 9, 2015
— TakingBackAmerica (@Constituents16) November 5, 2015
— Jay Carr (@Jay_Carr) November 6, 2015
The new cups are boring — you could've left the snowflakes . . . snow is for everybody! #MerryChristmasStarbucks
— Jacqi Briana (@JacqiBriana) November 9, 2015
One tweeter managed to force #BlackLivesMatter into the conversation:
— HAPPYDOOTSGIVING (@kaje_000) November 6, 2015
Another echoed the comparison between the new cup design and the iconic Solo party cup:
— geoff grant (@needsinsulin) November 8, 2015
The 2015 cups feature what Starbucks is calling an “ombre” design.
“We have anchored the design with the classic Starbucks holiday red that is bright and exciting,” Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design & Content said in a Sunday statement. “The ombré creates a distinctive dimension, fluidity and weightedness.”
A “White Cup” doodling contest from April 2014 was offered in the Sunday statement as evidence that the company meant to encourage customers to write on their cups.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is no stranger to controversy and political correctness. One example is the company engaging in efforts to legalize homosexual marriage. In the wake of a boycott from a pro-traditional marriage group Schultz lashed back. At a shareholder’s meeting in March 2013, Schultz proclaimed that a shareholder concerned with effects of the political endeavors on earnings could sell their shares.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana