Starbucks’ polar bear cookies are a bloody PR nightmare

Polar Bear cookies
Polar Bear cookies (Twitter)

You have to hand it to Starbucks, they really know how to create controversies during the holiday season. First, the iconic coffeehouse came under fire for its plain red holiday cups, and now the chain is being widely mocked over a seasonal cookie.


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Customers have been taking to social media to share photos of the chain’s polar bear cookies wearing a red scarf. Sounds harmless enough, but under closer examination, some people see bears with bloody, slit throats.

But don’t waste your time searching for these tasty bears at your local Starbucks. The polar bear cookie was discontinued in 2010. Yes, 2010.

As Buzzfeed points out, this new, old controversy all started on Dec. 9, when an image was posted to Imgur with the caption “These polar bear cookies at Starbucks look like they’ve all had their throats slit.” The post was viewed more than 2.8 million times in just two days.

And that was enough to start a new PR nightmare for Starbucks.