The new Ultra-Quafe advertisment campaign has sparked a lot of controversy in both Amarr and Caldari. Drink Starsi™ has been one of the most vocal Caldari corporations in denouncing their competitor's strategy, even going as far as calling for the complete removal of all Quafe advertising in Caldari-controlled space.
Jera , the CEO of the Caldari soft drink corp, graciously granted me an interview despite her busy schedule.
Q and A session with Jera
Beringe : "Can you tell us a little about your corporation? What and where is Drink Starsi™, exactly?"
Jera : _"Drink Starsi™ is a loyal Caldari corporation, thus supporting the Executive Chief Panel; Conscious of its humble status compared with the major Caldari corporations, Drink Starsi™ line of conduct is to keep a neutral stance as long as it does not go against the State's superior interests."
_"Drink Starsi™'s business lies in the production, distribution, sale and advertisement of its exclusive, high quality product : the refreshing and healthy Starsi™."
"Starsi™ is currently being produced and sold only in Caldari and Khanid space, but the corporation is studying the possibilities of expanding its network of resellers in Amarr and Minmatar space. There is currently no project of selling Starsi™ in the Gallente space at this juncture."
Beringe : "With which of the big Caldari corporations does Drink Starsi™ relate the most to?"
Jera : "Drink Starsi™ was set up by an Ytiri investment division. Its CEO recently bought back all the corporation shares, gifting Drink Starsi™ with full independence. From this common past, Drink Starsi™ head staff has kept strong links within the Ytiri agents department."
Beringe : "It must be difficult for a small corporation to compete with a megacorp such as Quafe. How can you hope to stand up to an industry giant like that? Do you have allies in your struggle with Quafe?"
Jera : _"The memory of heroes such as Yakiya Tovil-Toba inspire us when facing obviously overpowered superiority. Yet the Quafe company suffers from its gigantism, and its actions against its competitors, barely legal or not, take time to be set up and reach effectiveness. Drink Starsi™ keeps a vigilant eye on the Gallente corporation moves, and has learned to react swiftly and efficiently."
"And yes we do have allies : our numerous customers, who support us by buying Starsi™ on a regular basis and giving us the financial strength we need to keep struggling... on the soda market."_
Beringe : "Why the call for removal of Quafe ads in Caldari space? Surely, advertising is a fair way to compete on the free market? Isn't competition exactly the spirit of which the Caldari state is built on?"
Jera : "Indeed, advertising is one of the multiple aspects a healthy economy must bear, at least if the access to the advertising media is opened on a free market. Actually this is not the case : numerous corporation, Caldari or others, are willing to rent advertising space, especially on the impressive bulletin board network, and ready to put on the desk sheer amounts of ISK, but all theses corporations are facing an administrative blockade. Well, not all of them, some seem to be privy to special favours, as the Quafe Company does. There is no room for such an anti-capitalistic behaviour in Caldari space."
Beringe : "Does Drink Starsi™ really stand a chance against Quafe? Some Caldari might say that a small company like yours shouldn't stand a chance against a giant like Quafe - that only the strongest should survive in the ideal Capitalistic system. Any thoughts on that?"
Jera : _"Drink Starsi™ has never asked for any kind of help. Since the corporation founding, we have been going straight to our objectives without any compromise agreement and no matter what people say about our chances to be successful on a market locked by the Quafe Company. Yet we have a growing customer base that support our effort and are far away from giving up."
"Yet I would remind to 'some Caldari' that effectiveness does not come along with gigantism, and advise them to use some of their scheduled rest time to watch historical holoreels : if the Caldari State survived successfully its past threats, it is trough the tactical use of its light yet swift structures against massive yet clumsy opponents."_
Beringe : "There have been certain allegations that Drink Starsi™ has been involved with certain possibly illegal activities, such as the raiding of Quafe convoys. How do you respond to that?"
Jera : _"It is good to see our competitors having to rely on slandering against us, it proves how uneasy they are with our growing strength and how clueless they are when trying to slow our progress. Do you know that one of them, who remained anonymous, hired some low-wage mercenaries, the Ferijo Faction or something like that, to destroy our convoys during a few weeks ?"
"Now I must admit many actions of Drink Starsi™ did harm the Quafe Company business, but always in a legal way. I would give for example the 'Save Timmy' funds that were raised to cure the sickness of children being highly addicted to Quafe and suffering physical disorders caused by the abuse of the product. Poor Timmy died murdered as he was visiting the Caldari Mourning Ceremonial in Luminaire, but I won't comment on this tragedy to stay on subject."_
Beringe : "And finally, what does being a loyalist Caldari corporation entail? In what ways are such corporations better than other forms of business?"
Jera : _"Two keywords : memory and dedication. Memory reminds us what we all came through and which values found the State. Dedication is our honour to protect what our ancestors gave their lives for, and respect our traditions. Then all will be done for the good of many."
"Now my time with you is over citizen, duty calls."_
Beringe : "Thank you kindly, citizen Jera, and the best of luck to you and your corporation."