In wake of beef fiasco, Taco Bell gains 250,000 ‘likes’ in one week

The fast-food chain turned a potential PR catastrophe into a social media victory.

Looks like Taco Bell found the right way to quash the beef about claims that its meat is, well, not really meat.

After an Alabama law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell last month claiming that that its meat was less cow, more filling (allegedly 36 percent actual beef), it appeared Volcano Taco was about to erupt. As expected, media outlets everywhere pounced on the story.

It looked like a PR catastrophe for Taco Bell. But it wasn’t.

Although the fast-food chain issued statements and bought full-page ads in newspapers rejecting the lawsuit’s claim, it was social media that proved most effective in thwarting the bad press.

On Feb. 8, Taco Bell went straight to its true fans—its Facebook fans.

Clickz reports that anyone who “liked” Taco Bell on Facebook was offered a free “beef” taco. The promotion rewarded people who had already pledged their support—or “like”—and enticed others to become fans of the page. Taco Bell reportedly committed to giving away 10 million tacos, though it has yet to disclose how many coupons were redeemed with the offer.

Rob Poetsch, a spokesperson for Taco Bell, wrote in an e-mail to Clickz that the promotion “was an effective way to leverage the power of social media by thanking and rewarding our most loyal customers for their support.”

We’d agree, especially seeing how Taco Bell increased its Facebook fan base by 250,000 “likes” in just one week, and from a PR standpoint, we’d say that’s definitely something to “like.”


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