rtmark on Fri, 9 Apr 1999 18:06:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Taco Bell donates to "army"; free regional franchises

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    RTMARK announces a "regional franchise" program, described 
    on the front page of http://rtmark.com/. If you have a domain 
    you would like RTMARK to help you exploit for cultural profit, 
    please write mailto:franchise@rtmark.com.

(NOTE: The following is not an RTMARK press release, but was written by 
members of the Taco Bell Liberation Army, an RTMARK-funded group. As a 
service to the TBLA, RTMARK is disseminating this release nearly verbatim, 
and we have not verified the accuracy of the statements contained herein. 
Please send questions to the TBLA directly, via mailto:tbla@rtmark.com.)

April 9, 1999


              Press conference: April 10, 1999, 5:00 p.m.
                  331 Sixth Ave. (Manhattan), New York City
              Contact: mailto:tbla@rtmark.com

After overwhelming public response to Taco Bell Inc.'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.

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