Taco Tricks

Maybe it’s the cold rainy weather that has enveloped New York today, but I’m feelin’ a little glum in spite of the expected Giant-induced season-spoiler for the Pats. And then there was this little Jossip item citing my old employer for its tasteless taco trick.

Apparently some folks at Taco Bell’s agency Cohn and Wolfe thought it would be a good idea to leverage (God, I hate that word!) in the media the travails of the Writer’s Guild of America. In an ignoble gesture, they offered, via news release, WGA’s out-of-work members:

“…a chance to win free Taco Bell food by injecting fun and fresh bits of wisdom into the restaurant chain’s iconic Border Sauce packets.”


“Members of the Writers Guild of America can win a year supply of Taco Bell, valued at $260.”

Just what they need, I’m sure. I wonder how many will jump on the offer? Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with PR pros piggy-backing on a piece of pop news. After all, how many jumped on the Paris goes to jail bandwagon?

I’ll always remember, while at Cohn and Wolfe in fact, dressing up a junior colleague as a stick of Rolaids, i.e., the Rolaids Relief man. We sent him to a midtown hotel where scores of TV crews and print reporters had camped out awaiting word on the Major League Baseball strike talks. As he entered, it was like Moses parting the Red Sea.

Since we’re talking baseball, didn’t the producer of Fox’s voyeuristic new TV show “The Moment of Truth” invite on the show the beleaguered (and soon to be more beleaguered) Roger Clemens for a nationally telecast lie detector test? No reply from the Clemens camp.

Again, I think it’s cool, smart and nimble to tie your star to a current newsmaker. In fact, putting on my SEM hat, why not opportunistically buy a couple of keywords-in-the-news to drive Googlers to your site? Just be careful not to exploit anyone too bad for the quick media hit, Paris Hilton not included.