Morning Joe Brought to You By Starbucks
Starbucks is sponsoring MSNBC’s AM political talk show Morning Joe to the tune of $10 million, according to the New York Times’ Brian Stelter. Bizarrely there’s no mention of the deal at MSNBC’s own Website, as of late Sunday night.
The deal is a first for Starbucks which largely built its brand on word of mouth and print advertising eschewing TV. This campaign underscores a broad change in marketing strategy for the coffee empire and is aimed at seeing off attacks from the likes of McDonald’s McCafe and Dunkin Donuts, both eager to provide recessionistas with a cheaper java fix.
The Times story reports that the MSNBC show will make frequent mention of its sponsor, a fact bound to raise eyebrows among those who believe news should be a product placement free zone. Starbucks isn’t the first coffee provider to sponsor news programming however. Las Vegas station, KVVU had its morning news anchors sat in front of cups of McDonalds iced-coffee last July. Back then the national morning shows said they did not accept paid product placement, one wonders if those strict rules might be reviewed in the light of the present economy.