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Peter York

News Three weeks ago, anti-Israel protesto...


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What Happened to Starbucks When a Rumor Spread?

by Peter York, Published: February 2nd, 2009 9:34 PM CST

Three weeks ago, anti-Israel protestors destroyed a Starbucks (SBUX) in a major demonstration in London.  Why was Starbucks a target of this political demonstration?

Well, CEO Howard Schultz is Jewish and has received awards for his 'support of Israel.'  That prompted a mass email and text campaign stating that "Starbucks and McDonalds are donating their next 2 weeks of earned revenue to Israel."  It continued, 'Please boycott them and forward this message immediately."

Of course, it's ridiculous that a public corporation would donate a significant amount of earnings directly to charity, let alone to a highly divisive political event.  But this message apparently reached millions of potentially impressionable people.  It was started by an individual who wrote a satirical piece, apparently critical of the Jewish CEO's pro Israel involvement.  But his fiction turned to fact for many.  So much so that this group of protestors felt the need to destroy a Starbucks.

So three weeks later, how has this effected Starbucks' stock?

It hasn't.

Apparently lies on the internet are not getting as far as some would fear.  Not only do we not have a Muslim president, but we also do not have a Starbucks that sends profits to the Israeli army.  Outside of the fanatics, few seem to be paying attention to these internet rumors.  Both Starbucks and McDonalds have outperformed the Dow Jones Industrials in the last month despite the email campaign.  It will be interesting to see if they have any effect on earnings.  After all, myths have indeed been known to get around and become facts, and thousands of years later people are still fighting over them.

Still, I wouldn't be too surprised if…



What Happened to Starbucks When a Rumor Spread?
Three weeks ago, anti-Israel protestors destroyed a Starbucks (SBUX) in a major demonst...

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