Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Taco Bell Offers Exciting Underpaid Opportunity To Feel Like A Scab

Today Speak Media Blog commented on this announcement by Taco Bell and their PR vendor that they're willing to pay $260 (in Taco Bell "food") for writers to create advertising copy for their condiment packaging.

The headline on Trading Markets reads "Taco Bell Offers Striking Writers a Spicy Creative Outlet" and the press release claims: "...Taco Bell wanted to show its support for the thousands of creative minds itching to press pen to paper..." The offer to pay in food is hinted at being a great altruistic move to help "starving" strikers.

That's not altruism, that's an offer that says: "come ply your trade for us for a pittance." Advertising copywriters are well paid in cash, not handouts. $260 (in in-kind merchandise) for copy for a national campaign for a major brand? Are you kidding me?

It's not altruistic, it's insulting. Never mind that Taco Bell's food isn't particularly good (and most of the writers who are striking are in LA, where you can get real Mexican food cheaper), even if it were the most splendid food in all the land it's still an insult to ask a striking worker to come do a job that undercuts their fellow tradespeople.

I hope that people see through this, and realize that it's an insult to the striking writers, who are professionals on strike over serious contract matters relevant to their livelihoods and not random contestants in a lame in-store PR contest printed on placemats. It's an affront to their fellow writers as well -- those being the copywriters whose business they are asking the striking writers to publicly undercut.