Under the headline "Thank you for suing us," Taco Bell Corp. launched a public relations offensive today against a lawsuit claiming its taco meat is more filling than beef.
In full page ads in the New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, Taco Bell President Greg Creed says the company "plans to take legal action against those who have made false claims against our seasoned beef."
In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in California, an Alabama law firm alleged Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" in its products.
The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as "beef," according to the legal complaint.
Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell's "meat mixture" tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef.
Miles said the lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but asks the court to order Taco Bell to be honest in its advertising.
In the ad today, Creed countered that Taco Bell's recipe included 88 percent "USDA inspected quality" beef and a 12 percent mix of seasonings, oats, sugar and other ingredients.