Taco Bell’s PR Strategy? The (Blunt) Truth.

Posted filed under crisis management, Media Relations, Social Media.

With all the Taco Bell controversy and Alabama attorneys strutting about trying to make a mockery of one of my favorite eateries (yes, by night AND day), I feel compelled to comment and commend the delicious meat-serving franchise for several different reasons:

1) Find me a better taco meat (or taco meat-like thing) – really…I dare you.

I can see how this whole controversy could really lay an egg with some of the health-crazed Kashi eaters, but as one who allows herself to appreciate the finer (yet notably more unhealthy) things in life from time to time, this isn’t a whole big heck of a shock. Let’s face it – no one out there thinks they’re eating 100% beef when they order a 99-cent taco. The rumors have been flying for years. Also, no one orders a Crunch Wrap Supreme thinking they’re making a healthy decision.

2) Taco Bell, you speak to the facts…and I believe you.

Instead of dodging allegations of falsified taco meat, what did Taco Bell do? They responded, but not in that “I have no idea why the cookie jar’s empty, Mom” kind of way. They addressed the issue and stated the facts. In a sense, they weighed the pros and the cons and decided to come clean with the admission of serving up a mixture that is definably 88% beef and USDA certified for all of those percentages. All the way from the top, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed silenced the gossip from Taco Bell’s YouTube channel to an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Even despite the snarky headline in the full page advertisements that Taco Bell nabbed following the scandal that read “Thank You for Suing Us: Here’s the Truth About Our Seasoned Beef,” the message is clear and defiant. If you talk bad about my company and it’s not warranted, I will retaliate with the truth. Props to Taco Bell for being consistent with messaging and originating content from the big guy on the totem poll. Instead of hiding behind accusations, the franchise stood tall and—frankly—impressed me.

Now, I’m the first to say that I am a bit biased. So, tell me, what do you think about Taco Bell? Did the company’s response to these allegations nudge you in the direction of the drive thru, or are you quarantining yourself to Whole Foods from hereon out?

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4 comments
Taylor Hulyk
Taylor Hulyk

Thank you both all for your comments. I'm glad you chose to use the word "transparent." It seems to me that Taco Bell is taking the high road, and treating its customers with the respect that they deserve. They are presenting the truth about their products and addressing valid concerns as they arise. They are trusting their customers to make the decision that is best for them, instead of "force-feeding" brand superlatives. That said, who would like to join me for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch? P.S. Andy, congratulations on your weight loss!

Andy Kraft
Andy Kraft

I'm currently holding strong on my weight loss kick (20lbs since January!), so I'm not eating any Taco Bell. The transparency that Taco Bell has displayed is something more companies should take notes on! When you hear 88% is meat the first thing EVERYONE thinks is, the next 12% has to be dog food and sugar.. The recent events are only going to help Taco Bells public opinion. Transparency is soo important for any company. I love me some Volcano Burrito, but my mid section doesn't..

Tom Nixon
Tom Nixon

Agree 100%. Or at least 12%, with the rest of my opinion made up of oats and tasty seasonings. I particularly liked Taco Bell's aggressive ad campaign. It got us talking...and having the conversation TACO BELL wants us to have. Win.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Identity PR and Juli Peterson, Taylor Hulyk. Taylor Hulyk said: No, sir. RT @identitypr Taco Bell's 88% beef #PR conundrum won't stop @taylorhulyk from eating there. How about u? http://cot.ag/i4w57i ^NS [...]