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Playboy looking for 'Women of Starbucks'

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start quoteIf the girls want to submit their photos and want to do something in their off time, they should be able to do that.end quote
-- Theresa Hennessey, Playboy contact

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Lattes aren't the only steamy things at Starbucks these days.

Much to the chagrin of Seattle-based Starbucks Corp., Playboy Magazine has issued an alert: "Calling all coffee-making cuties!" to pose nude for an upcoming issue featuring the "Women of Starbucks."

With the application process already percolating, the chain of more than 6,200 coffee shops worldwide, is anything but thrilled with the cattle call by the adult magazine to its coffee-making employees, known as baristas.

The company on Thursday offered a frosty statement: "Starbucks Coffee Company is aware that Playboy Enterprises has issued a call for entries for a 'Women of Starbucks' section in a future magazine. Starbucks is not affiliated with this project and does not endorse it. All further inquiries should be directed to the contact at Playboy, Theresa Hennessey."

Hennessey, at Playboy Enterprises Inc.'s Chicago headquarters, said the magazine was already getting several submissions for the issue. "Starbucks is such a big part of American pop culture, and Playboy is always trying to stay on top of the latest trend so it seemed like a natural fit, especially with all the beautiful women there," she said.

Hennessey said that while Playboy had not approached Starbucks beforehand, it was sensitive to copyright and trademark issues.

Fair use, fair play, fair Playboy

"However we use or title the piece, we'll be using it within the boundaries of fair use of trademark law. By saying 'Women of Starbucks,' that's using it in a descriptive manner within the boundaries of fair use," she said.

"If the girls want to submit their photos and want to do something in their off time, they should be able to do that."

The application deadline is April 1 for a publication date likely before the end of 2003.

"The photo department will sift through the applications and will narrow it down and try to see who would be the best representatives to put in a pictorial. Typically we have about 10 to 15 women for a themed pictorial in an issue," she said.

In recent years, Playboy has scored big with other corporate-themed pictorials such as "The Women of Enron," as well as 7-Eleven.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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