Taco Bell Franchise Board Calls For Agency Review, Brand Says No

Loose emails sink ships. And Maureen Morrison of Ad Age, located just such a torpedo on franchisee-community website Blue Maumau.

The email was send from Taco Bell Franchise Management Advisory Council (Franmac) President Tom Cook to Taco Bell restaurant owners, and contains 14 points of contention, one of which is the agency on the Taco Bell account—DraftFCB.

“A core responsibility of our advertising agency is to produce creative that effectively promotes our menu” the email said. “Ads in the past 12 to 18 months have been largely ineffective, and we believe that an agency review should take place.

Taco Bell Corporate, in conjunction with Franmac should immediately undertake an agency review. Without a doubt, we will learn new things, obtain fresh ideas, and be further ahead, even if we decide to stay with the incumbent agency.”

Taco Bell Chief Marketing Officer David Ovens said in a statement to Ad Age: “We are very pleased with our longstanding agency partnership and have no plans to make any changes as we’re completely focused on building the business.”

Slap! But who’s getting hurt here? Clearly the franchise owners are feeling the pinch, or they wouldn’t be calling for a review. Personally, I marvel at the disconnect between “corporate” and “the field.”

Let’s have a gander at some the work in question:

Both of those spots are painful indeed. I love the tagline “Think Outside The Bun” but the I’m with the franchise board–the brand needs new TV.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.