Where's the beef?
According to a pending lawsuit against Taco Bell, it ain't in their tacos.
For a company that servers over 2 billion customers at 5,800+ restaurant locations every year, that's a pretty inflammatory accusation (which they adamantly deny, btw).
Taco Bell was quick to flex their PR muscles by going into full damage control mode, but the most impressive part of their strategy involved taking out full-page, color newspaper ads across the country with the giant headline: "Thank you for suing us. Here's the truth about our seasoned beef."
(The rest of the copy – a letter from Taco Bell President Greg Creed – goes on to explain that USDA-inspected quality beef accounts for 88% of their "not-so-secret" recipe, with 3% water, 4% assorted seasonings and 5% oats/yeast/sugar, etc.)
With ads of this size running upwards of $100K EACH in national pubs, this certainly was not a cheap brand management strategy. But the ballsy headline certainly caught a lot of people's attention. Which lead to (free) news coverage on all of the national networks. Which lead to people searching for the ad on the web and sharing it with their friends. Who shared it with their friends. Who shared it with their friends.
Now that is the type of good publicity you just can't put a price tag on.