Hacienda's Jonestown billboard snuffed out


Following a fairly predictable public outcry and drubbing in the press, Hacienda Mexican Restaurants is ending a two-week-old billboard campaign in Indiana that featured a red cocktail and the headline, “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid.” In case anyone missed the allusion to the 1978 mass-suicide tragedy at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana—where the cyanide was actually served in Flavor-Aid—the Hacienda signs promised that the establishment’s food is “To die for.” A restaurant chain bold enough to associate itself with poison, misery and death? Yum, I’ll have seconds! Client marketing chief Jeff Leslie explains: Our role is not to be controversial or even edgy.

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