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Starbucks ditches poster considered racist

Oct. 15, 2011 at 7:59 PM
PARIS, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Starbucks withdrew anti-pickpocketing posters from its stores in France even though it said people who found them to be racist were mistaken.

The poster featured a man with dark skin surrounded by arrows pointing to various objects, thelocal.fr reported Friday.

Underneath the images, the text read: "Be on your guard against unusual behavior from a stranger. Don't let pickpockets spoil your moment of relaxation at Starbucks. Keep an eye on your belongings."

A customer at a Paris Starbucks took offense and called the anti-racism group SOS Racisme.

The group demanded the U.S. coffee company remove the posters from stores, saying it "targeted a minority" and attributed "delinquent behavior" to them.

A Starbucks representative said the man on the poster was supposed to represent a customer, not a pickpocket. The company has a similar poster featuring a white woman.

"The posters have been misunderstood," the company representative said. "People thought it was a pickpocket but the drawings represented clients."

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