A rumor circulating that coffeehouse chain Starbucks plans to give a discount on food and beverages to undocumented immigrants on Aug. 11 is untrue, according to the company.
The rumor is “completely false, one hundred percent fake,” stated Starbucks’ senior vice president of global communications, John Kelly.
In addition to Kelly’s statement, the company also issued a tweet telling people to stay aware of the bogus promo that promises a 40 percent discount for undocumented immigrants on the so-called “Dreamer Day.”
In an effort to protest President Trump’s travel ban, Starbucks had previously promised to hire 10,000 refugees around the world, a move that made some critics ask why the American business wouldn’t instead offer to hire veterans. Consumers in the EU called for a boycott using the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks on Twitter and other social networks. And in Spain, where unemployment is close to 20 percent, activists demanded that companies like Starbucks reserve their job opportunities for tax payers, not migrants.
The coffeehouse giant responded to the criticism by promising to speed up their previously-stated goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018.
But now, Starbucks’ compassion for refugees has apparently made them the target of a hoax.
The trick was apparently plotted on the image-based /pol/ message board 4chan last week when someone posted about creating the faux holiday for illegal immigrants called “Dreamer Day.” The hoaxers said they wanted to lure illegal immigrants into coffee shops and then call ICE officials to arrest them.
It’s not the first time the company has been the target of a rumor. Starbucks has already had to get out in front of rumors that its former CEO Howard Schultz donated millions of dollars to support Israel and its army.
According to YouGov BrandIndex, perception levels of the company have fallen by at least two-thirds since late January, and its stock prices dipped 0.43 percent on Monday, trading at $55.44 per share.
In July, the company posted a weaker-than-expected third-quarter revenue and lowered its full-year 2017 forecast. Starbucks reported earnings of 55 cents per share on $5.66 billion in revenue representing the third quarter in a row of weaker-than-expected same-store sales.
Below is a collection of tweets with the fake ad promotions, as well as certain internet users promoting the faux event and certain internet users attempting to expose the plot:
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 6, 2017
— franktan (@franktan) August 4, 2017
Just confirmed with local Starbucks managers. They have chosen to honor Dreamer Day at all metro-Detroit Starbucks. #BorderFreeCoffee
— James Aspen (@JamesCAspen) August 7, 2017
Starbucks dreamer day gon be sick af. Pls go I’ll be there 2
— fat juan (@jj_the_taco) August 6, 2017
Sorry but I actually laughed. Starbucks dreamer day 😂 https://t.co/yQETWiuuRL
— edXph (@NotSeriousEd) August 6, 2017
Everyone trying to debunk #StarbucksDreamerDay is blatantly involved in human smuggling and should be prosecuted under the RICO act.
— Robin Roberson (@RobinRoberson) August 7, 2017
Aug.11 @ Starbucks. Undocumented immigrants DON’T receive a discount for “Dreamer Day.” It’s a ploy to get u into one spot, then call ICE.
— Jasmine (@jayyceeflores) August 7, 2017
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