Starbucks Race Together
Starbucks halts 'Race Together' messages on its customers' cups after critics condemn the initiative as an insincere publicity stunt.Twitter

Starbucks has decided to discontinue writing "Race Together" on its customers' cups from 22 March, after facing universal ridicule in the week since the announcement came.

Critics criticized Starbucks' Race Together initiative as opportunistic and inappropriate, as the US battles with racially-charged events.

Despite ending the cup messages, Starbucks has pledged to continue the campaign more broadly and maintained the messages were pre-planned to come to end.

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson said: "Nothing is changing. It's all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned. We're leaning into it hard."

Starbucks has maintained the messages were "just a catalyst" to trigger a national conversation about race and further the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign.

According to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz, as part of Starbuck's Race Together initiative, the company will continue to organize forum discussions and plan more stores in minority communities, reported AP News.

"While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn't been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn't expect universal praise," read the memo.

Schultz said Starbucks' campaign was aimed at ensuring "the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few."

Several customers, however, felt a coffee shop was not the place for a racial dialogue.

Ninette Musili, a student at the University of Michigan, said the campaign appeared to her like an insincere publicity stunt that failed in execution.

"Most people come to Starbucks for coffee. Race is an uncomfortable thing to bring up, especially in a Starbucks," said Musili.