Starbucks eyes reputation recovery with ‘Monday promotion’

Starbucks has launched a promotional campaign offering the public discounted coffees every Monday morning until mid-February as it looks to recoup brand-equity lost over the recent tax avoidance allegations.


The promotional campaign offers users a Tall Latte at a discounted price of £1.50 every Monday from now until February 18 with a supporting through-the-line campaign debuting on television last night (January 6), see video at bottom of story.

The promotion runs concurrently with the MyStarbucksRewards scheme which will also offer additional benefits including 50p off breakfast items and a free iNewspaper on specific Mondays throughout the period.

A statement promoting the offer reads: “To start the year on a positive note, Starbucks wants to show customers that Mondays can be great.”

The promotion is Starbucks’ first since the US coffee giant agreed to pay an extra £20m in tax over the next two years after it had emerged it had only contributed £8.5m in UK corporation tax since launching here in 1998.

Speaking at the time of the decision, Kris Engskov, Starbucks UK managing director, said it was taken to enhance trust with customers here. “We know we are not perfect. But we have listened over the past few months and… hope that over time, you will give us an opportunity to build on your trust and custom,” he wrote in a blog post.

Similar allegations were made about fellow US corporates Amazon and Google – representatives from all three faced questioning from the Public Accounts Select Committee in November last year.

However, Starbucks was the only one the three to climbdown from its initial stance of claiming to pay the legal amount of tax required under UK tax laws having faced protests in some of its stores in early December.

In the immediate aftermath of the tax avoidance allegations, Starbucks saw its scores on YouGov’s BrandIndex plummet with its Buzz score, which measures the negative and positive comments consumers have heard about a brand in the past week, reaching their lowest ebb for four years falling to -13.9 from +0.7.