Starbucks France has run into trouble with an anti-pickpocketing poster which some customers found racist.

"/> Starbucks France has run into trouble with an anti-pickpocketing poster which some customers found racist.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

STARBUCKS

Starbucks withdraws controversial poster

Starbucks France has run into trouble with an anti-pickpocketing poster which some customers found racist.

Starbucks withdraws controversial poster
Starbucks

The poster by the American coffee company shows a man with dark skin surrounded by arrows pointing at a mobile phone, a laptop, a rucksack and a wallet.

The text on the poster reads: “Be on your guard against unusual behaviour from a stranger. Don’t let pickpockets spoil your moment of relaxation at Starbucks. Keep an eye on your belongings.”

A customer in a Paris branch of the store took offence when he saw the poster and alerted anti-racist group, SOS Racisme. The group demanded the withdrawal of the poster, saying it “targeted a minority” and attributed “delinquent behaviour” to them, reported newspaper Ouest-France.

Starbucks rushed to insist the man on the poster was supposed to represent a customer, not the thief. A similar poster shows a white woman instead of the man.

“The posters have been misunderstood,” said a spokesperson. “People thought it was a pickpocket but the drawings represented clients.”

Starbucks, which employs 1,000 people in France, has withdrawn the posters from its stores. 

twitter.com/matthew_warren

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

STARBUCKS

Crazy queues reveal French thirst for Starbucks coffee

Images of French people queuing in their droves to get a coffee at a new Starbucks outlet reveal just how popular the American chain is in the home of le café.

Crazy queues reveal French thirst for Starbucks coffee
Photo: Nicolas Buchoud/Twitter

The line of people seen in the tweets below were waiting for the new Starbucks to open in the beautiful Place Kléber in the heart of Strasbourg earlier this month.

The mammoth queue had formed at around 7am ahead of the opening, with scores of people evidently desperate to get their hands on a skinny latté.

While France is hardly short on cafés, the sheer number of people queuing reveals that the French are looking for something different in a café these days.

Whether it’s the comfy seats, the free WiFi, the variety of coffees or one of the 300 free mugs on offer, Starbucks is clearly ticking all the boxes.

Perhaps the French are tired of paying up to €4 for a watery café creme. Maybe it's the improved service? Can you imagine the traditional grumpy Parisian waiter asking you for your name before he serves you?

This gimmick is not to everyone's liking but maybe the French appreciate it.

Perhaps it's the varied choice of food on offer at Starbucks compared to the few croissants placed on the bar of a French café?

Whatever it is, Starbucks's slow but steady incursion into France appears a no-brainer.

While Starbucks has more than 22,000 stores worldwide and enjoys, for example, huge popularity in Asia where it is a byword for Western-style luxury, the company has a smaller presence in Europe, and has only 110 outlets in France.

For the coffee giant, the French market remains fertile ground which they hope to exploit.

But there will soon be more to come with the US coffee behemoth set to increase its presence in the country, after setting up a partnership with French supermarket giant Monoprix.

For the traditional coffee-addicted French, the idea of an American coffee chain taking over may not be to their taste, but it clearly appeals to a lot of people..

Starbucks can take heart from McDonald's, which even in the home of haute cuisine and the Michelin restaurant guide has been a roaring success.

McDonald's sells more burgers in France per head of population than anywhere outside the United States.

SEE ALSO: Why is McDonalds so popular in France?

SHOW COMMENTS