No-nonsense crisis management well received by Taco Bell fans

No-nonsense crisis management well received by Taco Bell fans

Taco Bell show how decisive and no-nonsense publicity following a potential crisis can not only minimise damage, but can also rally an existing social media fan base in support of a brand.

Late in January, a class action lawsuit alleged Taco Bell’s “seasoned beef” only contained 35% meat and was therefore falsely advertised. In response, the US fast food giant initiated a huge PR campaign, backed by a swift and no-nonsense social media presence on YouTube and Facebook. The chain published several Facebook posts and a YouTube statement denying the claims and releasing a comprehensive ingredients list for its seasoned beef. WaveMetrix analysed responses to these statements to ascertain how damaging the lawsuit has been and judge the effectiveness of Taco Bell’s response.
 
Analysis shows that consumers on Facebook and YouTube have rallied behind Taco Bell and continue to be supportive. While it is to be expected that the chain’s 5.5 million Facebook fans would support the brand, WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that the no-nonsense YouTube statement was also generally received positively. With only 3% of consumers in these locations saying the lawsuit will “keep them away” from Taco Bell, the swift and no-nonsense approach seems to have minimised damage and even fostered some increasing brand loyalty.
 
Consumers reacting to Taco Bell’s statements on Facebook and YouTube are very positive:
 
No-nonsense crisis management well received by Taco Bell fans
  • Responses from Facebook fans are overwhelmingly positive: Taco post a link to their YouTube statement and follow this with links to other press articles. In return, their 5.5 million strong Facebook fan base rallies around the chain and reacts very positively
  • Responses on YouTube are also very positive: Perhaps more surprisingly, away from the established Facebook fan base consumers remain supportive of Taco Bell, indicating the no-nonsense statement is well-received
Consumers focus on the “ridiculous lawsuit”, praising the taste and ingredients of Taco Bell products:
No-nonsense crisis management well received by Taco Bell fans


  • The “ridiculous” lawsuit leads discussion: Taco Bell statements succeed in turning consumers against the lawsuit, with most calling it “ridiculous” and a “waste of time"
  • Others rally around the quality of Taco Bell products: While some say they “don’t care” about the ingredients because it “tastes so good”, others say the ingredients are “good enough” and that they “don’t need” fast food to be “quality beef”
  • Some consumers say they have “respect” for Taco Bell’s response: They add that Taco Bell’s response is “firm” and “puts them in a strong position”
  • A few also say they “don’t care” if it is “not that healthy”: They add that Taco Bell fast food is “not expected” to be the “healthiest”, but that is “not a problem”  
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