You read it here first: Starbucks gets bad press for denying Romenesko a custom card

As loyal readers recall, last month Starbucks turned down a customized card for Jim Romenesko. Romenesko runs two blogs: StarbucksGossip and MediaNewsthe online water cooler for journalists. At the time I wrote:

It’s not like Romenesko is Someone Not To Be Messed With. He’s just someone who gets a lot of influential readers. He’s more like Someone I Hope I Didn’t Inadvertently Do Something Stupid To. No doubt some of those MediaNews readers wander over to the Starbucks site. No doubt some of them will love a story about big company being dumb.

The fish. The gun. The smoking barrel, courtesy of the Seattle Times:

Starbucks does not welcome all forms of personalization. The webmaster of StarbucksGossip.com was stopped by company censors when he tried to order a card with his Web site’s name.

“Something like ‘Fluffy is my favorite cat’ might get approved,” Jim Romenesko wrote on his site.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company’s policy is to avoid anything that would offend baristas or harm the brand.

“The term ‘gossip’ could be deemed offensive or harmful to our brand,” Lisa Passé explained.

That might explain why CelebrityStarbucks.com got its name on a Starbucks card when StarbucksGossip.com did not.

A correct prediction AND we have a new entrant into the Great Names in Marketing Hall of Fame: Lisa Passé! I LOVE 2008!

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