Where's the Beef? Bad Timing for Taco Bell Spot


While most ad sales execs will tell you that the A position is the most prime piece of real estate available, a recent slipup on Fox suggests that a poorly timed adjacency can really turn around and bite you in the ass.

On Sunday night, Fox aired a repeat of the first installment of its irreverent animated series, Bob’s Burgers. Titled “Human Flesh,” the episode hinges on a misunderstanding about the beef content of the titular restaurant’s signature hamburger dish. After a rumor spreads linking a neighboring mortuary to the establishment’s beef supply, the proprietor is forced to display a large banner in the front window warning customers that he may be serving corpse meat.

Immediately after the health inspector unfurls the large black-and-yellow sign—it reads “Food May Contain Human Flesh” and features a stylized corpse stuffed between a hamburger bun—Fox threw to commercial. First up in the pod: a 30-second spot for Taco Bell. Oops.

It gets better—or worse, depending on where you happen to stand in the advertising food chain. Designed to address a lawsuit claiming that Taco Bell’s zesty meat filling contains just 35 percent beef, the spot asserts that the brown stuff is in fact 88 percent cow parts.

“Our seasoned beef is 88 percent premium ground beef,” proclaims an actor dressed as a Taco Bell manager, before another actor picks up the thread, adding, “and 12 percent signature recipe.” Viewers are then encouraged to go to to view the contents of that euphemistic “signature recipe.”

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