Starbucks Goes Hollywood

Starbucks continues its steady, overly caffeinated drip into the Hollywood game, with news that the coffee and public loitering facilities chain is moving some of their employees to the LA area in hopes of generating more opportunities for promotable entertainment tie-ins:

Starbucks Corp. plans to move some employees to an office in the Los Angeles area, in yet another sign of the company's growing interest in selling entertainment along with its lattes and Frappuccinos.


Audrey Lincoff, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based coffee retailer, said the move would be designed to put some people who work in Starbucks' entertainment division in closer contact with music labels and movie studios.

Starbucks has had success selling CDs at its thousands of retail locations, and recently inked a deal with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to help market the upcoming film "Akeelah and the Bee."

Starbucks should be careful not to step too boldly into the realm of the promotional tie-in, lest the sophisticated pleasures of a gingerspice latte be ruined with the discovery of a "Shrek 3" figurine surprise tumbling around the bottom of the cup. If they play it just right, however, the best we can hope for is an army of green-aproned barristas in oversized badges solicitously tempting us to "Ask me about [middlebrow, inoffensive, limited release arthouse title] for a free refill! (Brewed coffee only.)"