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Quick Hits: Starbucks' Little Mermaid


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

Starbucks (SBUX) may be chock full of nuts to launch a controversial update of its well-known mermaid logo.

The company is changing its logo for the first time since 1987. The new design -- a topless mermaid with tails spread -- is a revamp of the original used from 1971 to 1987.

The National Ledger reports The Resistance, a San Diego Christian group, is calling for a boycott of the brand. "It's extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks," said the group's founder, Mark Dice.

The logo is meant to promote Pike Place Roast, Starbucks' new, milder brew originally offered exclusively in its Pike Place Market location in Seattle. According to Consumer Reports, Pike Place Roast is a response to consumer feedback that the company's coffee is "burnt and bitter."

Will this ploy be sufficient to boost lagging sales? A naked mermaid is probably not enough incentive for Americans to continue sipping expensive lattes when they're struggling to fill their gas tanks. Instead of searching under the sea for solutions, lowering prices could be the pick-me-up Starbucks needs.

Let's hope Disney (DIS) doesn't follow suit with a marketing plan that turns The Little Mermaid's Ariel into a Las Vegas showgirl.

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