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Fortune reports that Starbucks is disputing assertions that it is suffering from diminution of its brand image because of an announced program designed to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years.

The coffee retailer, the story says, "issued a letter sent by market research firm Kantar Millward Brown that claims that in the wake of the coffee company's refugee pledge, 'we did not observe any substantive impact on customer consideration, future visitation intent or brand Perceptions or any other key performance metrics for the Starbucks brand'."

Starbucks announced the refugee hiring program in the wake of the decision by President Donald Trump to bar the entry of refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries as way of addressing concerns about terrorist attacks on the US. The program was seen as a deliberate slap at the current administration, and calls for a boycott were seen and heard on social media; at least some of these calls suggested that Starbucks was prioritizing global refugees over US military veterans.
KC's View:
If people want to take issue with Starbucks' apparent political positions, that certainly is their right. But the suggestion that the company's announced goal to hire 10,000 refugees globally somehow supersedes its commitment to US veterans strikes me as demonstrably and factually inaccurate.

The fact is that Starbucks pledged several years ago to hire 10,000 US veterans and their spouses, and is far along on that commitment. The decision to hire refugees around the world would seem to have absolutely no impact on US veterans, and the people suggesting that it does are the same people who send around emails claiming that Starbucks refuses to send coffee to military personnel serving abroad, a claim that has consistently been proven to be utterly false - equally false as the conflation of illegal immigrants with refugees, who by their very definition are people who have had to leave their home countries because of threats to their lives.