Taco Bell pulls party ad critics called an attack on vegetables

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It’s rare for the people at the Center for Science in the Public Interest to praise a fast-food company, but Taco Bell came in for some this week – for pulling an ad that had been dinged by CSPI as an attack on vegetables.

The ad called bringing veggies to a party on game day “like punting on fourth and one; it’s a cop-out” that people will even “secretly hate you for.” The ad promoted the Taco Bell “variety 12-pack” of tacos. In the 15-second ad, interesting to note, the lettuce is very visible in the taco shells. Something not lost on the company.

“We love vegetables. In fact each year, we serve our customers more than 45 millions of pounds of tomatoes, 122 millions of pounds of lettuce, 7 million pounds of onions and 412 thousands of pounds of cilantro,” Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said in a statement. “When we realized the ad was misconstrued, we sided with the vegetables and pulled it.”


“We are delighted that Taco Bell is pulling an ad that urged people not to bring veggie trays to their Super Bowl parties,” CSPI, the Washington, D.C.-based nutrition advocacy organization, said in a statement Tuesday.

Many online commenters considered the ad harmless, saying that’s what advertisers do: diss the competition. Wonder if nutritionists consider broccoli and tacos in competition?

The ad, Taco Bell says, was not a Super Bowl ad, just a general game party spot.

So, we’ll see if retired people will object to the company’s Super Bowl ad, which shows a group of exuberant old people escaping from a retirement home for a night on the town that ends with them sitting on the hood of a car eating tacos.

@mmacvean on Twitter