Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 10 March 2008

Starbucks To Launch Revolutionary Brand

Since acquisition of the privately held EthosTM Water, Starbucks Coffee (NASD:SBUX) has been marketing a line of bottled water under the brand name "Ethos" within its stores nationwide. Starbucks has maintained the subsidiary's original commitment to worldwide efforts to enhance the availability of clean water, particularly to children. The initial acquisition involved a grant of more than $1 million to such efforts.

Based on the continued success of the Ethos brand and the heightened effort to reinvigorate the corporate image of Starbucks has resulted in the launching of an entirely new brand of bottled drink. The new brand will focus on the needs of the "often-neglected depressives, tortured artists, and generally reckless elements of society", being marketed under the brand name "Pathos".

"Ethos is marketed on the underlying ancient Greek origins of the word--character. We are marketing this to people on the basis of the character they show to the world by contributing some of the proceeds to good works worldwide", says Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Similarly, the new Pathos line of bottled water derives its inspiration and marketing direction from ancient Greek word origins--suffering, but that is where the similarities end.

"We feel that it is important to serve all the needs of the community, not just those of feeling good about yourself", says Schultz, adding, "At Starbucks, we look at our staff and our customers as a family, and every family has its disaffected elements, but they are still family, so we want to bring that feeling to your neighborhood coffee chain". While details are still being determined, initial reports indicate that the PathosTM line will be unfiltered New York City tap water, packaged in old plastic soda bottles that have been lightly washed with bleach and spray painted black.

Analysts in the packaged food industry are calling this a brilliant move by Starbucks. "There is no more pretentious city in the U.S. than New York, so just bottling a portion of that is like gold", says Mike Spring with Goldman Sachs. Bahndeer Pahk with Lehman Brothers agrees, adding, "Starbucks has managed to work in edgy, pseudo-environmentalism with re-used bottles and the spray-painted outside, which should appeal to a hip, urban chic, which loves to hate itself". Shares of Starbucks rose 15% on the news.


Renewable Energy Sources Dangerously Low

A new report issued by an energy consortium headed by VPI, Inc (Vice Presidential Industries, DIFX:VICE) indicates that the world's reserves of renewable energy are running dangerously low. The report notes that the increased use of so-called green energy sources is directly to blame for the critical and impending shortages. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., GM's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer reacted to the report in a hastily assembled press conference, saying, "This puts an entirely new face on our vehicular production plans over the next five years", announcing plans to divert billions of dollars from the company's highly successful zero-emissions program that has already produced more than a dozen vehicle lines that contribute to the depletion of renewable energy. Added Wagoner, "If I had understood the kinds of environmental impacts that our products could have, we would have acted much earlier. I am just glad we caught it when we did".

The report addressed several key areas of so-called renewable energy, highlighting several shocking findings. Regarding solar energy, the report states, "The increased use of solar energy runs the risk of drastically depleting the sun's energy to the point where high-yield crops will no longer grow in Lapland".

Wind energy fares no better. According to the report, wind energy has already made parts of the globe completely stagnant. "It is just sad to see children unable to fly kites because the blight of wind turbines", said VPI president and CEO Dick Cheney, announcing the release of his company's report.

However, the report is not without hope. In fact, the report includes several practical steps that governments, corporations, and even individual citizens can take right now to reduce the depletion of renewable energy sources. At the governmental level, the report recommends expansion of the critical coal infrastructure, which it states has been "far too long neglected" in the United States. Corporations, the report recommends, can be diverting investments into less renewably-unstable investments like bituminous coal production. Even individuals can make a difference, according to the report, by switching home heating needs to coal. "If we all pull together, we can beat this thing", said Cheney.

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