View Taco Bell's print ad
Taco Bell announced yesterday that the law firm, Beasley Allen,
voluntarily withdrew the class action lawsuit against the company.
A spokeswoman for Beasley Allen declined to comment on this
"We stand behind the quality of every single one of our
ingredients, including our seasoned beef, and we want consumers to
know that we didn't change our marketing or product because we've
always been completely transparent," Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed said
in a statement today. Calls to Taco Bell for additional comment
were not returned by press time.
The January lawsuit charged that Taco Bell misleads consumers
when it says its restaurants serve "seasoned ground beef" or
"seasoned beef" and is actually serving "taco meat filling," while
the remainder consists mainly of "extenders" and other non-meat
substances. Taco Bell reacted quickly, launching an aggressive
national campaign within days of the suit to fend off those
charges, taking out full-page ads and launching YouTube videos,
among other strategies, in an effort to be transparent about what
ingredients its "seasoned beef" or "seasoned ground beef"
Taco Bell is using a media mix similar to the one it used for the campaign in
January, taking full-page ads in national publications
including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today, as
well as in local newspapers such as Birmingham News, Chicago
Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Montgomery Advertiser, Mobile Press
Register, New York Post and Orange County Register. The company
also has a campaign to reach its Hispanic customers.
The print copy reads: "Would it kill you to say you're sorry?
The law firm that brought false claims about our product quality
and advertising integrity has voluntarily withdrawn their class
action suit against Taco Bell. No changes to our products or
ingredients. No changes to our advertising. No money exchanged. No
settlement agreement. Because we've ALWAYS used 100% USDA-inspected
The print ads, as well as a Hispanic campaign, were created by
Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB, Taco Bell's agency of
CEO Greg Creed comments on the withdrawal of the class action suit
against Taco Bell.
Also like the first campaign to combat the lawsuit, Taco Bell is
launching YouTube video featuring Mr. Creed speaking about the
withdrawal of the lawsuit. The video will be placed on the
company's YouTube channel, Facebook page and website, and will be
supported with an online campaign on search engines and in social
Taco Bell's brand buzz had increased in March, according to
YouGov's BrandIndex survey results. It was No. 1 on YouGov's Top
Ten Biggest Buzz "improvers" -- meaning Taco Bell got the biggest
positive boost in word-of-mouth in March from adults 18 and over.
The company's March buzz was indexed at 7.5, up from -6.1 in
February. (YouGov BrandIndex's scores range from 100 to -100 and
are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive.) Taco
Bell took a steep dive in buzz score from the end of January
through Feb. 8 -- from 17.1 down to a -10.3 -- during the initial
weeks of the first campaign. The company then shot up to a peak of
13.9 on March 23. But YouGov said Taco Bell is not where it was
before the suit was filed. The fast feeder has slid back from that
13.9 peak to 5.