Orange County Business Journal

Taco Bell Puts Digital Ad Account Up for Review

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, April 5, 2012

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. has hired agency search firm SelectResources International of Santa Monica to look for a new digital agency.

The digital business is currently handled by Taco Bell’s lead agency, Draftfcb’s Orange County office.

“As part of our goal to deliver a better, more relevant Taco Bell, our strategy includes expanding ways our highly engaged customers can connect with us—whether it be through social, mobile, digital channels or new and emerging technology platforms,” the company said in a statement. “Given our plans we have initiated a search for a specialized digital agency led by Select Resources International Los Angeles.”

Taco Bell is part of Louisville, Ky.-based fast-food chain operator Yum Brands Inc.

Draftfcb will continue to work on the company’s overall creative work for national and local advertising, along with merchandising and other duties, a Taco Bell spokesperson said.

A Draftfcb spokesperson said the agency would “still be responsible for providing strategic direction and ongoing creative ideas for Taco Bell’s digital business.”

Draftfcb won the digital business back in late 2010 after losing the account to sister ad agency R/GA of New York in August 2009.

Both agencies are owned by New York-based Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.

Taco Bell did not disclose its advertising budget.

A report from trade publication Advertising Age said the fast-food chain spent $250 million on U.S. advertising last year. A breakout of the digital portion of the account is not available.