UPDATE: The Bell wins!
Turns out the stuff I used to turn to after a wild Saturday night–aka the Beef Burrito Supreme at Taco Bell–may not have much beef, so says a lawsuit filed in Alabama:
“Our government, through the USDA and FDA, provides definitions, standards and labeling guidelines for ‘ground beef’; What Taco Bell is representing on their restaurant menu as ‘ground beef’ does not meet any of those definitions, standards and labeling guidelines,” explains Beasley Allen attorney Dee Miles. “This product does not qualify to be considered ‘ground beef’ and many of the seasoning ingredients are in fact binders, fillers and coloring. These ingredients increase the overall volume of this product, reducing the actual ‘beef’; content per serving. It is against the law in this country to take someone’s money for a product that is misrepresented. This lawsuit seeks to put a stop to that type of conduct and practice,” he says.
One reason I stopped eating at Taco Bell was I noticed it increased my overall volume. But I digress.
Taco Bell chimes in with this response:
“Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We’re happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree. We deny our advertising is misleading in any way and we intend to vigorously defend the suit.”
What remains to be seen is how vigorously they’ll fight this allegation in the court of public opinion. Though this is certainly no finger in the chili or booger on the pizza, it can’t help the brand any if the suggestion that they aren’t using actual beef–or are using a lot of fillers–takes hold in the consumer mind. (The lawsuit’s use of the term “meat concoction” is going to be tough to overcome if it catches on.)
For the moment it appears they are weighing legal options. Their public response is (I assume) forthcoming….unless it truly is “We’ll see how this comes out in court.” That, my friends, is a dangerous proposition. Lawsuits take time, and in the interim between a court filing and a verdict, all that could be left of the Bell’s reputation may be an empty (taco) shell.
Without knowing if they have been caught doing something wrong or not, it’s tough to say what I’d do, other than be as transparent as legally possible as soon as possible. Tricky.
I’ll keep an eye on this one–at the very least their advertisements might get pulled or altered. In the meantime, assuming this lawsuit’s allegations are correct, what would you say if you were Taco Bell?
I had a comment from a loyal reader who fears this might change the future:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” –Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968)
Shelly Kramer of V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency talks about making your PowerPoint perfect and your Keynote kool (yeah, terrible punning, I know). She even mentions the Keynote presentation of a certain PR firm, brought back from the dead by the talents of Al Bonner. Read on….click the link at the end to read the entire piece (with the before and after presentation slides) on her blog. Thanks Shelly!
I’ll be the first to admit that developing PowerPoint presentations (or any other kind) isn’t my strong suit. But as a Comms major in college, standing up in front of a roomful of people has never been an issue – big surprise, I know.
For me, words are infinitely more important than slides – so treating them as accoutrement to the topic – not as the star of the show, is important. Less is usually more (and better) and clean, simple and direct is rarely a bad strategy.
Al Bonner, a friend and frequent collaborator, however, is a presentation pro. I’ve really learned a lot from him in the past year, as I’ve watched him build his company, Presentation Transformations from an idea into a successful business.
After sitting through more presentations than I can count, I know this to be true – most of them suck. And most lack an element that really wows the audience. Presenters often cram too much information onto a slide, making them boring, overwhelming and sometimes even impossible to read. Do you find yourself zoning out in the middle of the majority of the presentations you’re sitting through? I know that I do – and sometimes they’re presentations being made by people who know better – they just don’t know how to create a compelling visual presentation.
There’s no better way to illustrate the difference between an okay presentation and a killer one than to show you, so here it is. Below you’ll see two presentations. The first is the original developed by my other friend and frequent collaborator, Alex Greenwood of AlexanderG PR. Alex is a terrific communicator and sought-after PR pro but, like most of us, his forte is not in developing slide presentations.
Every now and again I start feeling like Larry King and ramble. So, you’ve been warned…
As I said in the comments section of Spin Sucks, I think that Kraft went for the easy two-fer in hiring homeless “golden voiced” sensation Ted Williams to do their mac ‘n cheese ad. Great PR and a decent VO. Hard to say I wouldn’t have advised them to do the same thing. (From a VO perspective, yeah, his voice doesn’t ring “mac ‘n cheese” to me, but it works okay.) And if Mr. Williams goes haywire down the road (his personal demons are pretty nasty), Kraft still comes out smelling like a cheese, er, rose, for giving the guy a chance…I have a hard time giving a free pass to practitioners of extreme political speech in this Tucson nightmare. If you create an atmosphere of “anything goes” in your rhetoric, some people aren’t going to get that it’s rhetoric. Instead they’re going to get whatever approval their sick brains need to start shooting…I ran for state legislature in Oklahoma a few years ago and I’ll never forget a candidate debate where my opponent “accidentally” had a “slip of the tongue” and called me “Mr. Gaywood.” An unamusingly clumsy, juvenile, bizarre (and inaccurate, I might add) remark aimed at inciting prejudice, he was practically booed offstage. He won the election anyway…Shoveling snow is good exercise but boring as hell…circling back to Kraft for a moment I’ll just add that sometimes nothing will do except a grilled cheese…I have to believe that the press release as we know it is dead, though I keep trying to resurrect it…I think Jeff Bridges is terrific in True Grit but relieved the Coen Bros didn’t try to “top” John Wayne’s “Fill yer hands you sonofabitch!” scene…
instead they played it straight and let the Duke’s iconic moment stand as the definitive of the two…I cannot believe it will be summer before I will see new Breaking Bad–best show on TV–and wow, next Halloween before I get more Walking Dead is deadly awful…having a two-year-old daughter is like being in love with a totally unbalanced person: exhilarating but a bit worrisome…I could really use a boat drink and a few days on Cabbage Beach…reading T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Lawrence was a fantastic writer. His turns of phrase and elegant, self-deprecating prose fill me with envy and appreciation. It should be required reading for any aspiring writer. I also think it should have been required reading for any nation considering invasion/war in the area once known as Persia…Brussels sprouts are the steak of the vegetable world…sorry the Chiefs couldn’t hang on for more than one playoff game, but proud of ‘em anyway…will not be watching basketball–lost all interest in it…and for now Greenwood out.