In countries like Saudi Arabia, Starbucks won't be able to use their new stripped-down logo.
So, about that new Starbucks logo that was unveiled yesterday? According to the blog AndFarAway, putting the full-frontal nudity of the siren front-and-center is far too racy for some countries in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia, where the siren has not appeared on the logo for over a decade.
In 1992, the blog reports, the siren was deemed "morally-inappropriate" for the country's predominantly Muslim clientele. The official Starbucks logo was changed on signage throughout Saudi Arabia to feature the siren's crown floating on a sea ... of coffee? (You can read more about the change in the piece "The Saudi Sellout" by Colbert King.) While AndFarAway envisions an amusing solution for the new logo, this conundrum presents a very real problem for Starbucks.
This photo, taken a few months ago, shows the crown logo in a store in Mecca (wow, there really are Starbucks everywhere), and the sultry siren is nowhere in sight. You can see the inherent issue: What was inside the circle was downplayed when it was surrounded by huge STARBUCKS COFFEE type, but now that it's all about the siren, her bare-chested beauty is kinda in your face. Okay, so it's possible that Starbucks will create a version of the crown afloat on the coffee sea, but what's the point exactly of making a globally-recognized iconic symbol that can't be used in all parts of the globe?
Store photo by Osama Allassiry