NEW YORK » Taco Bell is turning to TV commercials to battle damage to its image from a lawsuit questioning its taco filling.
The fast-food chain has been on the defensive since it was pushed into the spotlight by a lawsuit that claimed the restaurant’s seasoned beef filling did not have enough beef to be billed as such. Taco Bell has repeatedly said the claim is false.
The new $3 million television ad campaign comes the week that Taco Bell is due to respond to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California.
In the television commercials, Taco Bell employees talk about the filling and direct customers who want to know more about what’s in it to the company’s website.
The commercials don’t mention the lawsuit but emphasize the company’s message that the filling is 88 percent beef and 12 percent "signature recipe" consisting of seasonings and other ingredients. They also promote a weeklong deal for an 88-cent Crunchwrap Supreme, which regularly costs $2.39.
The commercials will run on network and basic cable TV, including sports and news shows. TV commercials on network prime time shows average around $100,000 for 30 seconds, according to the Nielsen Co. But basic cable ads are much cheaper, averaging just $3,000.