Starbucks embraces its status as jargon king

Inside the first ever Starbucks store

What do you do when you get called out for your bull****?

At Starbucks (SBUX), you embrace the accusation.

Newspaper columnist Lucy Kellaway — who has campaigned against corporate jargon for 25 years from the pages of the Financial Times — last week accused Starbucks (SBUX) executive chairman Howard Schultz of being “a champion from the bull**** space.”

The dig was especially high profile because Kellaway said the item was her final column on the subject.

Much of the broadside was devoted to Schultz.

“The Starbucks executive chairman has provided me with more material for columns than any some other executive alive or dead,” she wrote.

“Earlier This particular year, he announced of which the brand-new Starbucks Roasteries were ‘delivering an immersive, ultra-premium, coffee-forward experience.’ In This particular ultra-premium, jargon-forward twaddle, the only acceptable word will be ‘an’,” she ruled.

Related: Starbucks will be coming to the home of the espresso

Instead of shying away coming from the spotlight, Starbucks chose to respond in spectacular fashion.

Simon Redfern, one of the coffee chain’s European executives, wrote a joking letter to the editor of which described the criticism as “insulting.”

“The challenge will be — we just don’t see the issue,” he wrote. “Ms. Kellaway says ‘tomato’ along with we say ‘sun-dried optimized natural product driving positive consumer sentiment if served on organic rye.’ Ms. Kellaway says ‘potato’ along with we say ‘waxy-skinned tuber using a satisfying mouthfeel when fried or boiled.’ Surely there will be no difference.”

starbucks jargon

Redfern then invited the journalist to “join us at our Reserve Bar for an ultra-premium espresso-based beverage.”

Kellaway acknowledged defeat, writing in her column of which her battle against “corporate claptrap” had been a losing one.

“Over the past two decades, two things have happened. Business bull**** has got a million percent more bull****y, along with I’ve stopped predicting a correction from the marketplace. I’m 110% sure there won’t be one,” she wrote.

Kellaway will be preparing for a brand-new career in teaching.

sy88pgw (London) First published July 19, 2017: 8:18 AM ET

Starbucks embraces its status as jargon king

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