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Thursday, December 07, 2006

E.coli outbreak tests intestinal fortitude of flacks

Think you have a tough job. How would you like to be the marketing director of Taco Bell? Each day, more people claim to have been sickened after eating at one of your fast-food restaurants. It's the E. coli bacterium and it's been traced to scallions from a Burlington County distributor that's used in Taco Bell's fare. This is one case when the old saw "Any publicity is good publicity'' does not apply.

So far, Taco Bell hasn't embarrassed itself by trying to put a positive spin on a clearly negative story. But at some point, it has to assure patrons that its food is save to eat. Merely reopening restaurants as if nothing happened is not enough. Johnson & Johnson was upfront and won back customers after the tainted Tylenol deaths in 1982. Taco Bell's marketing and public relations staffs should study how J&J did it. Then they can share what they've learned with the PR folks promoting scallions.


Anonymous MrB said...

My suggestion would be for Taco Bell to have a "LOSE WEIGHT FOR THE HOLIDAYS " campaign and just run with it pun intended

6:43 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger margaret said...

Years ago, when I was a teenage, there a Mexican restaurant in Middletown NJ, where over 40 people became infected with hepatitis. My mother was one of them. All family members had to go to a designated place to get vitamin K shots, I guess so we would not be affected. the rest of my family had eaten only small portions of the take-out food we had ordered, so thankkfully we were okay. The cook at that little restaurant was the one who had hepatitis. That little restaurant went bust. Taco Bell, I'm sure, will be more resilient.

3:42 PM, December 08, 2006  

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