Thursday, May 18, 2023

Taco Bell Wants to Profit off Bulling PR and Marketing is Bull Shit


One global restaurant chain Taco Bell apparently thinks that it can profit off bulling-marketing/PR.  According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® that is Bull Shit! Johnson stated, “with school yard bulling at near all-time highs, Taco Bells attempt to garner new customers is a professional miss-step, completely unprofessional, and an insult to their customers.”  Bulling is looking back Taco Bell needs to stop bulling PR and Marketing and start looking a customer ahead.

First let’s define bullying, as the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict. Bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by hostile intent, imbalance of power and repetition over a period of time. Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally or emotionally. Given Taco Bell’s marketing budget and global reach there can be no doubt that there is an imbalance of power and social clout that is once again at work.

So, currently Taco John’s owns the Taco Tuesday registration in 49 states, while “a small business” called Gregory’s owns the registration in New Jersey. Taco Bell is seeking to cancel those registrations. Now Taco John’s is a much smaller growing company and Gregory’s is even smaller.  Let’s give credit to Taco John’s for doing all of the right things, applying for registration in 49 states while respecting Gregory’s registration. 

Then there is the global Taco Bell with higher unit volumes and thousands more stores that when Taco John’s applied for registration was given plenty of time to challenge and did not. Even more disappointing is the fact that Taco Bell is owned by the behemoth Yum! Brands.  Clearly Yum! Brand’s oversite must have been missed-sight according to Johnson.

When many of your primairy and sedonalry targeted customers are still in school it counter intuitive that you would use bulling marketing to will over your customers especially when schools, school districts, states and the National Education Association are working so hard to stop bulling. So, Taco Bell here are some facts bulling you might want to review:

1. One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019 

2.  A higher percentage of male than of female student’s report being physically bullied (6% vs. 4%), whereas a higher percentage of female than of male students reported being the subjects of rumors (18% vs. 9%) and being excluded from activities on purpose (7% vs. 4%). (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

3.  41% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they think the bullying would happen again. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019 ) 

4.  Of those students who reported being bullied, 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 13% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

5.  A slightly higher portion of female than of male students report being bullied at school (24% vs. 17%). (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

6.  Bullied students reported that bullying occurred in the following places: the hallway or stairwell at school (43%), inside the classroom (42%), in the cafeteria (27%), outside on school grounds (22%), online or by text (15%), in the bathroom or locker room (12%), and on the school bus (8%). (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

7.  46% of bullied students report notifying an adult at school about the incident. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

8.  School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%. (McCallion & Feder, 2013

9.  The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019

10.  The federal government began collecting data on school bullying in 2005, when the prevalence of bullying was around 28 percent. (U.S. Department of Education, 2015 )

11.  Rates of bullying vary across studies (from 9% to 98%). A meta-analysis of 80 studies analyzing bullying involvement rates (for both bullying others and being bullied) for 12-18 year old students reported a mean prevalence rate of 35% for traditional bullying involvement and 15% for cyberbullying involvement. (Modecki, Minchin, Harbaugh, Guerra, & Runions, 2014 )

12.  One in five (20.9%) tweens (9 to 12 years old) has been cyberbullied, cyberbullied others, or seen cyberbullying. (Patchin & Hinduja, 2020

13.  49.8% of tweens (9 to 12 years old) said they experienced bullying at school and 14.5% of tweens shared they experienced bullying online. (Patchin & Hinduja, 2020

14.  13% of tweens (9 to 12 years old) reported experiencing bullying at school and online, while only 1% reported being bullied solely online. (Patchin & Hinduja, 2020)

In case you have not read about it; Taco Bell's petition to cancel Taco Tuesday trademarks in the minds-eye of our Grocerant Guru® are inappropriate and unprofessional at best.

Yes, Taco Bell is fighting to “liberate” Taco Tuesday. The company announced this week that it has filed legal petitions to cancel the federal trademark registrations for “Taco Tuesday” via the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The company says it believes “Taco Tuesday” should belong to “all who make, sell, eat and celebrate tacos.”

“In fact, the very essence of ‘Taco Tuesday’ is to celebrate the commonality amongst people of all walks of life who come together every week to celebrate something as simple, yet culturally phenomenal, as the taco. How can anyone Live Más if they’re not allowed to freely say ‘Taco Tuesday?’ It’s pure chaos,” the company wrote in a statement.

Here is just one example that Taco Bell is using bulling PR to capitalize on others pain steaking hard work.  Taco Bell is not seeking damages or trademark rights, but rather the ability for usage of a common term via the cancelation of trademark registrations; meaning no one restaurant will be able to claim exclusive rights to Taco Tuesday. Taco Bell said it wants “Taco Tuesday” to be free for all restaurants and vendors to use the term without fear of a cease-and-desist letter or lawsuit. In our minds-eye that is bulling PR to demish the value of the trademark of Taco John’s and Gregory’s.

Once again, the fact is, Taco John’s owns the Taco Tuesday registration in 49 states, while “a small business” called Gregory’s owns the Taco Tuesday registration in New Jersey. Taco Bell is seeking to cancel Taco John’s registration and has also filed a petition to cancel Gregory’s registration covering New Jersey.

“This is the only way to achieve liberation in all 50 states, which is Taco Bell’s sole objective behind this effort,” the company said. Marketing and PR stunts that are simple bulling are unprofessional and Yum! Brands know better.  

Once processed, Taco Bell’s petitions will be available on the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s website. An excerpt from the company’s legal petitions can also be found online.

Bulling is not Looking a Customer Ahead!

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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