Taco Bell unveils new ads in beef image campaign

February 28, 2011 9:48:50 AM PST
Taco Bell is taking its campaign to battle damage to its image from a lawsuit questioning its taco filling to television. The $3 million television ad campaign runs this week. It follows full-page ads last month in national newspapers that made a splash with the headline "Thank you for suing us."

The fast-food chain said it planned the TV campaign after company studies showed the previous ad campaign and a Facebook promotion reached only about half of people.

The Alabama law firm that filed the lawsuit last month has said its testing showed the filling was made of only 35 percent beef and therefore couldn't be called "beef." Taco Bell has repeatedly said the claim is false.

In the commercials, Taco Bell employees talk about the filling and direct customers who want to know more about what's in it to the company's Web site. They don't mention the lawsuit but emphasize the company's message that the filling is 88 percent beef and 12 percent "signature recipe," seasonings and other ingredients. They also promote a weeklong deal for an 88-cent Crunchwrap Supreme, which regularly costs $2.39.

The company said the campaign involves about 20 percent more commercials than it would run to introduce a new product.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands, based in Louisville, Ky. Yum said when it released its earnings earlier this month that the lawsuit has had a "negative short-term impact."