Fast-Food Company Seeking 'Left of Center' Wisdom for Sauce Packets

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - Taco Bell, the fast-food company that facetiously waded into politics during the California governor's race, is now looking for "simple, left-of-center" messages to print on its hot sauce packets.

As part of a new public relations campaign, the company announced it will publish customers' "words of wisdom" on nearly 5 billion hot-sauce packets distributed to its restaurants each year.

In a press release, Taco Bell said the messages should be "simple, left of center, and provide insight on the little things in life -- anything from going on a date to eating a meal."

Taco Bell defined "sauce wisdom" as a "humorous look at reality through the eyes of the Taco Bell brand."

The message should not exceed 70 characters, the press release said, and all entries will be judged according to "humor, originality, length and suitability of use."

Greg Creed, the company's chief marketing officer, said the "sauce wisdoms" contest is a way for Taco Bell to "recognize people who 'Think Outside the Bun' and help us deliver a bold dining experience every day."

The national "words of wisdom" contest runs through June 18. Up to 12 winners will receive a one-year supply of free food, the company said.

Last year, Taco Bell made national headlines with its gubernatorial "Taco Poll" in California. Voters in that state were urged to "put their vote where their mouth is," by buying menu items that had their favorite candidate's name on them.

Purchasing a crunchy beef taco counted as a vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger; a soft chicken taco counted as a vote for not recalling Gov. Gray Davis; a Chalupa counted as a vote for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, and so on.

The tongue-in-cheek poll prompted complaints from leaders of California's Democratic Party. One of those Democrats said the fast-food chain should stick to making tacos rather than "rigging" elections.

Republican Schwarzenegger won the Taco Poll in 2003 and then went on to win the governor's race.

In the current Taco Bell contest, people who wish to submit a saying are warned that the saying may not "promote non-Taco Bell products or services, or any individuals."

The website also says, "The Wisdom may not be gender biased, have any religious or sexual overtones, support or endorse a position, or be offensive in any manner." The warning does not specifically exclude politics.

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