By Dawn Cranfield
Taco Bell Cancels Clever Ad in Reaction to Twitter Campaign
Taco Bell has canceled their clever new advertisement showing a disappointed hostess receiving an uninspired tray of pre-cut veggies and placing it next to a box of Taco Bell tacos. While the celery and carrots remain untouched, the tacos disappear; the voiceover in the ad opines, “Veggies on game day is like punting on fourth and one. It’s a copout and secretly, people hate you for it.”
Witty. Funny. Inspired.
However, not everybody thought as much; the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) tweeted, “Shame on @ Taco Bell for disparaging healthy vegetables in its ad. High-calorie, high-fat tacos will not help you #LiveMás!” (abcnews.go)
CSPI is a consumer advocacy organization, whose mission statement is painfully similar to that of the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), has a goal to provide “useful, objective information to the public and policymakers and to conduct research on food.” (cspinet.org)
Although, is it objective to chastise Taco Bell for coming up with unique and amusing advertisement in the competitive world of television advertising, or is it bullying?
The advocacy group went on to admonish the fast food chain, in a statement by CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan, “It’s bad enough that there aren’t many ads on television for broccoli, kale or carrots. The last thing healthy fruits and vegetables needed was to be the subject of attack ads.” (abcnews.go)
Amid a barrage of Twitter responses by misguided consumers, Taco Bell executives pulled the ad on Monday morning. In a statement by their spokesman, Rob Poetsch, Taco Bell replied, “We love vegetables. In fact, each year we serve our customers more than 45 million pounds of tomatoes, 122 millions of pounds of lettuce, 7 million pounds of onions and 412 thousand pounds of cilantro. When we realized the ad was misconstrued, we sided with the vegetables and pulled it.” (abcnews.go)
Interestingly enough, when I think about “running for the border”, I do not consider the vegetables; I think about the Enchiritos, Bean Burritos, and Limeades.
So, why would Taco Bell kowtow to the harassment by CSPI when they claim they only wish for objective and useful information to be brought forth to the public?
CSPI is trying to stop free commerce and they have been successful; their tactics have prompted some of the most significant changes in the way private industry has conducted business, all in the name of protecting the citizens. We have had many of our choices reduced because of their threats and litigation against some of the largest food manufacturers in the country.
I am an American citizen, but they do not represent me; I believe in free enterprise and I believe in choices. My mind is intact and I am not swayed so much by a commercial that I am unable to determine whether or not I should eat a vegetable or a taco based on a 15-second advertisement.
In a world that allows violent video games glorifying death, movies with graphic and gratuitous sex and violence, songs with deplorable language celebrating the murder of our public defenders, and television commercials for every sexual dysfunction imaginable, I think it is deplorable for an organization to harangue a private corporation for such a clever ad. While they implored people to tweet their displeasure, if I had as many followers, I would do the same, asking Taco Bell to stand behind free commerce and their original ad.