Taco Bell answers lawsuit with national ad campaign

by Bryan Salvage
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IRVINE, Calif. – Taco Bell is launching a nationwide advertising campaign explaining how its seasoned beef is made. This is being done in response to a class-action lawsuit recently filed in California stating Taco Bell's claim it uses seasoned beef is misleading – the lawsuit charges Taco Bell is actually using extenders and other non-meat substances.

In response, Taco Bell is placing full-page ads in national publications including Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today, as well as in local market newspapers. The company is also executing a campaign to reach its Hispanic customers.

To reach consumers online, the company launched a YouTube video featuring Greg Creed, Taco Bell president, speaking about the facts of the brands “not-so-secret” recipe. The video will be placed on the company’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/tacobell), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tacobell), website (www.tacobell.com) and supported with an aggressive online campaign on leading search engines and social media networks.

The advertising copy reads: “Thank you for suing us. Here’s the truth about seasoned beef. The claims made against Taco Bell and our seasoned beef are absolutely false. Our beef is 100% USDA inspected, just like the quality beef you buy in a supermarket and prepare in your home. It is then slow-cooked and simmered in our unique recipe of seasonings, spices, water and other ingredients to provide Taco Bell’s signature taste and texture.

“Plain ground beef tastes boring. The only reason we add anything to our beef is to give the meat flavor and quality. Otherwise we’d end up with nothing more than the bland flavor of ground beef, and that doesn’t make for great-tasting tacos.

“So here are the REAL percentages. 88% Beef and 12% Secret Recipe. In case you’re curious, here’s our not-so-secret recipe. We start with USDA-inspected quality beef (88%). Then add water to keep it juicy and moist (3%). Mix in Mexican spices and flavors, including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, and cocoa powder (4%). Combine a little oats, caramelized sugar, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the flavor, moisture, consistency, and quality of our seasoned beef (5%).

“We stand behind the quality of our seasoned beef 100% and we are proud to serve it in all our restaurants. We take any claims to the contrary very seriously and plan to take legal action against those who have made false claims against our seasoned beef.” The ad is signed by Greg Creed, president of Taco Bell.
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