All Blog Posts

I pity Taco Bell execs right now

Ken Gaebler

I'm a big Taco Bell fan (or at least I was until recently).

The latest news story on Taco Bell, as I understand it, is that some woman is suing them, claiming that their "meat" is not actually meat.

It's the kind of story that makes the news, so of course I read about it -- in the Chicago Tribune I believe.

I've done crisis PR work for religions that are being accused of pedophilia. But that pales in comparison to the crisis that Taco Bell has stumbled into.

Lest anyone suggest that I think tacos are more important than sexual assault, let me clarify.

What I mean is that from a crisis PR perspective, Taco Bell has a tougher situation.

I mean, if your religion gets a bad rap, you're not going to immediately drop the religion, are you? But I'm done with Taco Bell, based on that story that ran and its detailed, alleged explanation of what's really in the meat at Taco Bell.

More importantly, religions know how to reach their key stakeholders and do damage control. They've got names and they've got numbers. They may even see you every Sunday.

In contrast, Taco Bell can't reach me. I DVR the little TV I watch so I won't see any of their commercials. Even if Taco Bell wins the lawsuit, I'll probably never hear about it.

If Taco Bell had been smart, they would have somehow gotten my contact information years ago. Customer engagement firms like Empathica can help with that. If they had my information, they could present the truth, or their version of it anyway, and give me a coupon or two for a Burrito Supreme. But you can't woo anonymous individuals, can you?

Lots of crisis PR, customer engagement and social marketing takeaways on this one. I'm curious to hear what others think. Leave a comment below and let me know how bad you think this is for Taco Bell and what you would do to shore things up.