Is Taco Bell ‘Meating’ Your PR Standards?

Clearly, this new lawsuit against Taco Bell is a PR nightmare. If you aren’t already aware, an Alabama law firm is suing Taco Bell by alleging that its meat mixture contains only 35 percent beef, which fails to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for labeling.

It’s certainly a less than ideal situation, but unlike some PR bloggers, I believe Taco Bell’s communications department is doing a darn good job at trying to clean this up.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, Taco Bell’s quick and swift rebuttal included full-page newspaper advertisements reading “Thank you for suing us,” Facebook postings and a YouTube video with the chain’s president stating that the mixture is, in fact, 88 percent — not 35 percent.

Now, I know some may think this “thank you for suing us” move is pretty bold, but what else is the company supposed to do? Sit back and let the lawsuit itself win all the media coverage?

This move was just what Taco Bell needed. In fact, when I just Googled “Taco Bell lawsuit,” the first thing that pops up is Taco Bell’s official statement on the lawsuit. The first news story that appears isn’t about the lawsuit itself, it’s the story on Taco Bell’s advertising and social media retort! Sounds like the work of a PR genius to me.

I am curious how you feel about the way Taco Bell’s PR team is handling the situation. Too risky with the thank you? Not risky enough?

This entry was posted in Limelight PR and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is Taco Bell ‘Meating’ Your PR Standards?

  1. afleisha says:

    I agree. When I first heard Taco Bell’s campaign, I liked it. It’s bold and speaks straight to the issue at hand. Often times in these situations PR teams try to lie low and avoid any attention. I thought Taco Bell’s approach was different and gained respect from their consumers (a large stakeholder). It’s also memorable and easily sparks a discussion between viewers. Additionally, improving their official statement to the number one SEO spot on Google was another great move.

  2. hewhite says:

    I am impressed with the PR on this lawsuit so far. How the Taco Bell PR team is responding to this claim reminds me of how Dominos started a new campaign based on disapproving consumer reviews. The Taco Bell chain president should be up front and center, concerned and proactive, in a medium that its consumers use. Bravo.

  3. nkumarat says:

    I thought Taco Bell’s PR team did a good job with its newspaper “thank you for suing us” ad. The ad is pretty bold, but it was its boldness that made it stick out and get remembered by the public. The sarcastic “thank you” fits into the cool, funny vibe of the company. I think having a stand-out response to a crisis will let Taco Bell’s message resonate with the public. I thought that the YouTube video was a great idea because the president is addressing the issue first hand, and YouTube videos can be easily shared.

  4. kllockha says:

    When I first heard of the 35 percent meat allegations, I too was alarmed. But, I agree with the fact that Taco Bell had excellent PR coverage. I heard of Taco Bell’s press statement almost immediately after I heard about the 35 percent meat allegations. I don’t think the “thank you” statement was too risky. It was bold and to the point. This is exactly what they needed to restore their image.

Comments are closed.