Starbucks Christmas

With Christmas on its way, big brands in US have already begun their promotional activities and Christmas merchandising.

But this year, Starbucks went rogue and coloured its cups red, only red, with their logo, a mermaid.

And then began a hail of criticism rainging from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the self-professed social media evangelist Josh Feurenstein who decided to 'expose' Starbucks.

"Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christand Christmas!off their brand new cups??? That's why they're just plain red. ..In fact do you realize that Starbucks isn't allowed to say 'Merry Christmas'? Well guess what, Starbucks, I tricked you!"

A Starbucks' spokesperson responded after the video went viral stating that baristas "are not provided a script or a policy around greeting customers. They are simply encouraged to create a welcoming environment to delight each person who walks through our doors," reported The Atlantic.

Cashing in on the controversy, the Christian consumer advocacy group Faith Driven Consumer (FDC) started promoting its new product - Faith Equality Index.

The index is supposed to judge an organisation based on its "faith-friendliness". In November, it said that Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Doughnuts were more faith-friendly than Starbucks, and customers should start a boycott by not buying Starbucks products.

The FDC, founded by Christian marketing professional Chris Stone, focuses on the Christian conservative demographic and its purchasing habits.

"It makes good business sense for brands to welcome this demographic into their rainbow of diversity alongside groups they already engage with, such as racial minorities and the LGBT community," a FDC press release said.

While Stone attempts to tell a false narrative by calling the conservative Christian group a minority, the Pew Research Center data proves that 71% Americans still identify themselves as Christians.

"The problem isn't with [FDC's] data, it's with the generalizations that FDC makes with them," Vice quoted John Hawthorne, a professor of sociology at Spring Arbor University, as saying.

Stone's faith driven branding agency, The Stone Agency, is also aimed at helping organisations create an image in the market that they are in line with the values of the Christian demographic.

While critics are unsure about the usefulness of the Faith Equality Index, the organisation is profiting from having championed many social media campaigns reinstating professionals into positions they had lost due to their homophobic and intolerant comments including Phil Robertson, star of reality-TV show Duck Dynasty.