The advertisement, in the style of a vintage public service announcement, features a man unwrapping his meal and throwing the packaging away. In the first version of the ad, the paper misses a trash can and hits a baby stroller, which is being pushed by a black woman.
According to AgencySpy, a broadcaster accidentally aired the first version of the ad, which is how led to the video landing on social media.
Watch the first version of the ad here:
Some viewers complained the ad was "racist" and vowed to never eat at Taco Bell again.
Taco Bell's creative agency Deutsch also produced an edited version of the scene in question, where the man throws the paper directly into the trash. The timing of the edit is unclear, Taco Bell was not immediately available for comment.
A 15-second version of the ad, which includes the edited clip, is on the YouTube channel for the campaign:
A Taco Bell representative told AgencySpy: "We had no intention of upsetting anyone with this ad and apologize to anyone who was offended. We immediately re-edited the commercial and removed the original version from the air."
Taco Bell is also removing the "Naked Chicken Chalupa" menu item promoted in the ad from its restaurants in March, according to the Orange County Register. The fast-food chain told the OC Register the limited-time offer item, which launched in January, was always destined to be removed from the lineup after a few weeks.
This isn't the first time Taco Bell has been criticized for its ads. The brand's commercials in the late 1990s featured a Spanish speaking chihuahua, a decision that was criticized at the time by a coalition of Latino groups.
I see Taco Bell fixed that racist ass commercial- X _________. (@Fre5HJeff) February 21, 2017