Taco Bell Rates Hispanic Shops

Dieste Among Trio Trying to Succeed Ornelas on $5-6 Mil. Account
DALLAS–The winds of change continue to blow through the Taco Bell Corp.
The Irvine, Calif.-based Mexican-style fast-food chain is reviewing its Hispanic advertising account following the decision of Ornelas & Associates, Dallas, to resign after three years.
A short list of three agencies has been drawn up to contest the $5-6 million account, according to Lawrie Gannon, spokesperson for Taco Bell.
The three contenders are FCB Southern California teamed with SiboneyUSA, New York; Dieste & Partners, Dallas; and Mendoza & Dillon, Newport Beach, Calif.
A final decision is expected to be made in August.
The review follows hard on the heels of Taco Bell’s decision two weeks ago to remove its $200 million general advertising account from TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., creator of the talking Chihuahua television ads. FCB Southern California, Costa Mesa, Calif., has been assigned the account on an interim basis.
Industry observers linked this switch of agencies to the appointment on the same day of new company president Emil Brolick, a former executive at Wendy’s International Inc.
Ornelas & Associates’ resignation of the chain’s Hispanic advertising account was unrelated and preceded Brolick’s appointment. Agency president Victor Ornelas blamed the split on differences with the client’s marketing approach.
“We had been pondering the decision for more than a year,” said Ornelas. “There were some basic philosophical differences to developing the Latino market for them.
“We see a lot of clients determined to grow their Latino business by embracing new and original ideas and that means new creative. But not Taco Bell,” he continued.
“We wanted to do original creative, we are not in the translation business,” Ornelas said. “We adapted the TBWA\Chiat\Day creative but thought that it was better somebody else continued to do it.”
Ornelas added that the loss of the Taco Bell Hispanic account has not had a significant impact on his agency’s bottom line.
The Dallas shop has annual billings of $25 million and counts Nissan North America, the Budweiser and Michelob Light brands of Anheuser-Busch, Banc One Corp., GTE and Kimberly-Clark among its clients. K