Starbucks is using its ubiquitous coffee cups to attract the attention of Congress this week as lawmakers return to try to hammer out a budget deal before the 'fiscal cliff' deadline.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to roughly 120 Washington, DC area coffee shops urging workers to write 'Come Together' on the cups for the rest of the week, reported Reuters.
“In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic,” Schultz wrote, according to The Hill.
“Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue.”
The cups are intended to send a message to lawmakers that the public is ready to put aside partisan politics and make a deal to avoid the tax increases and widespread automatic spending cuts scheduled to start next week.
When Congress and the president broke for Christmas vacation last week they were no closer to agreeing on a budget plan. President Obama is cutting short his Hawaiian vacation to return to Washington Wednesday night to make a final attempt before the Jan 1 deadline. Congress is expected to back in session on Thursday.
Schultz said he plans to widen his marketing blitz on Twitter and Facebook posts, buy coverage on AOL's local news websites and take out ads in the Washington Post and New York Times later in the week, reported Reuters.
"There is something so wrong that we can be here again and not have the ability to put party aside for the betterment of the country," Schultz told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"We have the same language and rhetoric. Unfortunately we aren't learning much."
Schultz told CNN in early December that he believed the failure to reach a deal is putting the global economy at risk. "This single issue has a seismic effect on the rest of the world," he said.