April 9, 1999
TACO BELL FOUNDATION TO DONATE $15 MILLION TO "ARMY"
Press conference: April 10, 1999, 5:00 p.m.
After overwhelming public response to Taco Bell Corp.'s series of commercials depicting their chihuahua mascot as a revolutionary leader, the company is announcing a surprising plan to live up to the images used to sell the new "gordita" tacos. $15 million from the company's advertising budget will be earmarked for donation to several causes which the Taco Bell Foundation has identified as "pressing struggles for equality and justice," according to a spokesperson.
In celebration of their new committment to "radical social justice wherever tacos are found," Taco Bell will be hosting a ceremony in New York City to present $15 million to several important causes from across the continent.
Presenting the awards will be leaders of the newly formed "Taco Bell Liberation Army" (TBLA) a grassroots activist organization which was formed based on the Taco Bell ads that feature what the TBLA calls "Chihuahua Guevara." Forming spontaneously in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the organization will also receive seed money from the Taco Bell Foundation in hopes of creating a nationwide movement, according to the spokesperson.
Representatives of the Taco Bell Foundation told the TBLA that after several years of windfall profits for Taco Bell, they were disturbed by research showing that over 38% of the population on either side of the border is unable to afford regular meals at Taco Bell, which has prided itself on low prices.
"People were raving about the ads with red flags and protests," Taco Bell CEO Peter C. Waller told the group, "so we hope there will be a lot of support for this move to radical donations."
The donations, divided between campaigns to cancel Third World debt, stop "Fast Track" free trade legislation, and support the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico, represent an unprecedented move in corporate philanthropy by making potentially unpopular political endorsements. Previously, Taco Bell Inc. has committed only to a donation of $15 million over six years for TEENSupreme, a mentoring and service program in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Information about the causes being funded will be presented to the press at the event.