Coffee shop franchise Vida e caffè has condemned a poster which appeared at a Newlands store stating that it was an "Independent Media Free Zone”.
A picture of the poster made rounds on social media over the weekend and sparked debate about censorship.
CEO of Vida e caffè, Darren Levy, says the franchisee at the store made a call that had not been approved or sanctioned by the group.
Levy insists that the views expressed through the poster do not represent the values of the popular coffee retail chain.
The CEO explains that franchisees are not permitted to communicate messages to customers that are not endorsed by the brand.
They [franchisees] are not permitted to use our brand or make announcements without our consent.— Darren Levy, CEO - Vida e caffè
There are certain regulations that they [franchisees] are governed by in terms of their agreement.— Darren Levy, CEO - Vida e caffè
The posters have since been removed from the Cape Town store and the newspapers from the Independent Media stable have been reinstated.
Vida e caffè has at least 300 stores across South African and Levy maintains that customers have the right to choose what they read and consume.
Customers are free to choose. We don't discriminate or promote or support any form of censorship. It's up to the customer to choose.— Darren Levy, CEO - Vida e caffè
Listen to the CEO explain the situation:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : CT store was out of line for Independent Media boycott poster - Vida e caffè CEO