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Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Starbucks scraps 'offensive' advert
Starbucks sign
The company says it never meant to cause offence
The US-based coffee chain Starbucks has withdrawn an advertising poster that had been accused of mimicking the 11 September attacks.

The poster is an advertisement for the company's latest summer drink.

It shows two cups side by side, with a dragonfly hovering towards one of them, and the headline: "Collapse into cool".

Starbucks says that it "deeply regrets" if the poster was "misinterpreted".

The Seattle-based company said in a statement that it never intended to be "insensitive or offensive".

Cooling off

"All retail stores in North America were instructed to pull the posters immediately and are in the process of doing so," the statement adds.

Original Starbucks shop in Seattle
The advert was posted in 3,000 Starbucks outlets
The posters were hung on the walls of Starbucks outlets across the United States and Canada in April, to promote summer iced tea beverages.

It shows the two cups - one yellow one orange - rising above tall, squared off blades of grass.

The dragonfly, on the top left corner, is seen hovering towards one of the cups, as butterflies fly up towards the open tops.

Starbucks said the overall concept was to create a "magical place" with bright colours and whimsical elements such as butterflies and dragonflies.

The headline "Collapse into Cool," was meant to conjure up feelings of "cooling off on a hot summer day," it added.

Starbucks spokesperson Lara Wyss said the company had never received a direct complaint about the posters, although it was contacted by the New York Post newspaper which said one of its readers had commented on it.

"With that input, we pulled the poster to avoid any of our customers from feeling that it is insensitive," Ms Wyss said.

See also:

21 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
23 Oct 01 | South Asia
26 Oct 01 | Americas
16 Sep 01 | Entertainment
25 Feb 02 | Business
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