Taco Bell Sends Digital Creative Duties to Deutsch

By Patrick Coffee 


Today we can confirm that responsibilities for Taco Bell’s digital creative work have shifted from DigitasLBi to Deutsch.

The company’s last real agency shakeup began back in 2012, when FCB (nee DraftFCB) lost the digital creative business to Digitas right after the latter opened its San Francisco office. FCB remained the brand’s official AOR at the time, but the account eventually shifted to Deutsch after a series of what AdAge described as “jump-ball pitches” involving both shops.


You may note that this new business follows Deutsch winning sister Yum Brands chain Pizza Hut in July; the agency’s first ads for that client debuted last month.

A source tells us, however, that the real reason behind the move was the October launch of Taco Bell’s new mobile ordering app.

In a stunt orchestrated by Digitas, the company effectively “shut down” all its social media accounts and replaced your regularly scheduled programming with minimal images on a black background promoting the #onlyintheapp hashtag and directing fans toward the Apple/Android app stores.

At the time, Taco Bell’s CMO told Adweek that the stunt had “some initial success” and that diners did use the new tool at 75 percent of the chain’s locations. Still, the launch of that project preceded this shift.

Deutsch’s win is not complete as Digitas will retain the digital media account and much of the more technical mobile work. Neither agency has responded to our request for comment, but a source tells us that Deutsch’s LA office will run all digital creative for the client moving forward.