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Originally published Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM

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On the Call: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

With consumers still holding back on small luxuries - even as competition increases among specialty coffee sellers, which now include McDonald's Corp. - Starbucks Corp. launched a multimillion dollar advertising campaign in its third quarter to convince more consumers to spend.

With consumers still holding back on small luxuries - even as competition increases among specialty coffee sellers, which now include McDonald's Corp. - Starbucks Corp. launched a multimillion dollar advertising campaign in its third quarter to convince more consumers to spend.

CEO Howard Schultz spoke during a conference call with investors about how successful Starbucks was in this latest skirmish in the coffee wars.

QUESTION: How effective have you been at driving traffic into retail stores?

RESPONSE: It's very hard to specifically quantify the effectiveness of advertising in the midst of the quarter that we just finished, because it's very fresh. However, when you look at the landscape of retailers and restaurants that have reported traffic ... it really appears as if the things that we have been doing, both in-store and out-of-store, are resonating with our customers.

I've been in this business almost 30 years. It is literally an unprecedented amount of dollars that have been spent against coffee, the likes of which I have never seen before. I think the thing that has surprised us, perhaps, is the pride and the excitement that our own internal partners have had as a result of the campaign and how it really kind of turned everybody on and was a real spark. So we have every intention of continuing it.

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