by Roger Pynn
Taco Bell President Greg Creed’s appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America today quickly had media talking heads, as well as public relations wags chatting up the advisability of everything from the company’s full-page ad campaign (“Thank you for suing us”) … to the company’s aggressive use of online tools from its website to Facebook and an aggressive media relations effort.
The lawsuit filed against Taco Bell claimed you’re actually eating “a Taco Beef Mixture.” What does that mean? “In reality,” the plaintiffs say, “a substantial majority of the filling is comprised of substances other than beef” including “isolated oat product.”
Admitting he is not a food scientist, Creed said he couldn’t explain what an “isolated oat product” is but refuted claims Taco Bell uses extenders and fillers. You have to pity oat product sentenced to solitary confinement.
After Creed noted there’s a big difference between 33 percent (which the suit alleges) and 88 percent (which the company claims is the percentage of ground beef in its tacos), conversation erupted among members of the Florida Public Relations Association’s Counselors Network, made up of the state’s senior practitioners. Said one, “What concerned me more was that a company only has to have 40 percent to say that it’s beef.”
As another practitioner said, “I, for one, think the Taco Bell strategy is strong … they’re basically saying, ‘here’s our recipe. Yes, it’s not all beef, because if it was you wouldn’t like it.’ They’re certainly getting people talking.”
Talk about a messaging mess. Wendy’s most famous pitch lady Clara Peller must be laughing from the grave?
Where is “Yo Quiero” when you need help?