Taco Bell® phone lines ring off hook and Web site nearly crashes after announcement of free tacos for America if Mir strikes 40 by 40 foot floating target

From Australia to Arkansas to Alaska, millions of people are
talking about Taco Bell and its unprecedented offer to give everyone
in America a free taco if the core of the Mir spacecraft lands on the
company’s floating target.

The 150-ton space station’s return to Earth is one of the most
anticipated events in the news today. All eyes will be glued to the
sky as the Mir starts its descent over the South Pacific late tomorrow

Since the company announced the free taco offer on Monday,
thousands of television, radio and print news reports have circled the
globe. The company’s phone lines have rung off the hook and its Web
site nearly crashed as millions flocked to www.tacobell.com to find
more information.

“The response to our free taco offer has been overwhelmingly
enthusiastic. We’ve even heard that consumers will be chanting TA-CO,
TA-CO as Mir descends,” said Chris Becker, vice president of brand
communications, Taco Bell Corp. “The offer of free tacos if Mir rings
our bell has definitely captured everyone’s attention. This may well
be the biggest splash down in space history.”

If the core of Mir hits the designated Taco Bell target upon its
re-entry, every person in the United States will have an opportunity
to obtain a coupon for a free taco, valid at participating Taco
Bell® restaurants in the United States. Coupon distribution,
redemption and offer details will be made available to consumers on
the Taco Bell Web site and in press materials should this event occur.
Taco Bell has purchased an insurance policy to cover the anticipated
cost of the free taco redemption should the core of Mir hit the

Taco Bell Corp., a division of Tricon Global Restaurants Inc.
, is the nation’s leading Mexican-style quick service
restaurant chain serving tacos, burritos, signature Chalupas and
Gorditas, nachos and other specialty items. Taco Bell serves nearly 40
million consumers each week in more than 7,200 restaurants nationwide,
generating $5.2 billion in system-wide sales.


Taco Bell

Laurie Gannon or Caroline Anawati