Last year, in a post entitled "Reputation Management In The Digital Age," I presented some examples on how a slow response to a crisis can do serious damage to a company's brand and reputation. For much of the past week I thought history was repeating itself as I observed Taco Bell's evolving response to the "Where's the Beef" lawsuit. It took multiple attempts, but Taco Bell eventually presented a strong and effective response to a lawsuit's allegations that there's very little beef in the fast food chain's tacos, and therefore it should be prohibited from advertising the tacos as containing "seasoned ground beef or seasoned beef."
"At Taco, Bell, we buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket, like Tyson Foods. We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture. We are proud of the quality of our beef and identify all the seasoning and spice ingredients on our website. Unfortunately the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later -- and got their "facts" absolutely wrong. We plan to take legal action for the false statements being made about our food."