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Taco Bell Halts "Cardcaptors" Promotion




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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 3456
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:51 pm Reply with quote
http://headlines.agapepress.org/​archive/​2/​afa/​12002c.​asp

(Note that Agape Press is a Christian news organization run by Reverend Donald Wildmon's American Family Association.)

Quote:
Taco Bell Halts 'Tarot Card' Promotion

By Rusty Pugh and Jody Brown
February 1, 2002

(AgapePress) - A national fast-food chain has stopped a promotion featuring cards that resemble tarot cards, which are associated with the occult.

Earlier this week, AgapePress reported on a promotion at Taco Bell that involved occult symbols. The company's "Cardcaptors" program involved the use of "Clow Cards," which are similar in appearance to tarot cards used in occult practices. Following that report, Taco Bell's national promotions director Lori Gannon says the company has halted the program following customers' complaints. She says it was a mistake.

"It's a cartoon program that's not meant to have anything to do with witchcraft, but we do see how consumers thought [the promotion] could have been misconstrued as that," Gannon says. "So we took a look at the items and we've held them all at the distribution center -- we're not sending them to our restaurants any more and pretty much have ended the program."

According to the Cardcaptors website, Clow Cards contain the magical power of entities such as water, fire, and wind, and were sealed in the "mystical Clow Book" by a powerful sorcerer to "protect the world" when the entities became "unwieldy and dangerous." By its own admission, the story behind the cartoon series resembles Eastern mythology.

Gannon says the company has learned a lesson. "We will definitely take a more serious look as we develop things in the future to make sure that they can't be misconstrued as something having to do with witchcraft," she says.

As of Friday morning, the Cardcaptors promotion was still featured on Taco Bell's website. The cards were being included in "Kids Meals" at Taco Bell nationwide.


Hmmm... can you say "collector's items"? Not that they were selling actual Tarot Cards to kids (in which case the AFA would be correct in bringing the issue to the attention of its members), just that the desgns of the cards vaguely resemble Tarot Cards. Funny how a cartoon with at least 2 homosexual characters has been on American television for almost two years, yet the AFA only noticed it when the toys show up at Taco Bell. (Not that you'd know that there are any gay characters from the TV dub, although the homosexual aspect of the anime was toned down a lot from the manga to begin with, but information about the Japanese version is readily available on the Web, and there's the uncut DVDs and a relatively "intact" English version of the manga, so I'm surprised they never noticed. I should add that I think the primary gay characters are Toya and Yukito; Tomoyo and Shaolin are both in the "Latency" stage of childhood wherein one identifies strongly with members of the same sex, so Shaolin's affection for Yukito and Tomoyo's affection for Sakura is normal "idol worship", exaggerated because it's a cartoon. Yes, there's Tomoyo's ambiguous "I'll tell you when you're older." line in volume 2 of the manga, but this is never really expanded upon in the following 10 volumes. Plus, of course, there are supernatural reasons why the various characters are attracted to one another.)

Also, was Taco Bell doing this promotion in Canada? They don't have any Taco Bells in the province of Quebec, so I can't say. (French-speaking Quebecers as a culture prefer sweet foods to spicy foods, though you'd think that there are enough Anglophones and Allophones (the Quebec word for people whose first language is neither French nor English), plus Francophones who do like spicy food, in the Montreal area for them to open at least one up here.)
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ShockWave



Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 22
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 11:04 am Reply with quote
I gotta say it,

That’s quite a stretch of the imagination. If they can sell toy Oujia (sp?) boards in Toys R Us then how are we getting to the point where toy cards with anime images have to be pulled because they might look like tarot cards. And what is so evil about tarot cards, anyway. In all my life I don’t think I’ve ever felt threatened by tarot cards. I’ve never said, ‘Oh, I better leave the park. There’s someone with tarot cards over there!’

I have, on the other hand, been made to feel exceptionally uncomfortable around rabid christians who have tried to get me to convert to whatever it is they’re pushing. Can I ask Taco Bell to continue the promotion because I feel threatened by the organizations asking them to stop? :wink:
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 3456
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 1:34 pm Reply with quote
ShockWave wrote:

If they can sell toy Oujia (sp?) boards in Toys R Us then how are we getting to the point where toy cards with anime images have to be pulled because they might look like tarot cards.


Well, they don't like Ouija boards either, but I think they gave up on Toys R' Us a long time ago.

ShockWave wrote:

And what is so evil about tarot cards, anyway.



They feel that Tarot Cards and all other forms of divination are condemned by God according to a passage in Deuteronomy.

God or the guy that wrote Deuteronomy depending on your point of view wrote:

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-12, NIV Translation.)


AFA members are free not to patronize Taco Bell for whatever reason they like, be it real or imagined. Evidently, if the Agape Press article is accurate, enough people complained about the promotion that it became a liability for Taco Bell for them to continue running the promotion. I'd imagine that many of the complaints they received were from Christians not affiliated with the AFA, since the AFA only ran the initial article about Taco Bell's "tarot card" promotion (not mentioning Cardcaptors) earlier this week but this promotion's been running for about a month. Even though the people who would object to the promotion because the Clow Cards resemble Tarot Cards are probably only a tiny minority, even among Christians, I'd guess Taco Bell felt that there were more people out there that objected to the promotion than would object if Taco Bell halted the promotion because of complaints from religious types. I'd also wager that Taco Bell isn't publicizing the reason why they're pulling the promotion other than to the groups which complained, and, if parents take their kids to Taco Bell because the kids want Cardcaptors goodies and that particular Taco Bell location is out of stock, they'll likely just tell the parents that the promotion is over.

I think I should add that the AFA is the group that is most famous for getting CBS to pull the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoon in the late 80s because they thought that in one episode Mighty Mouse was snorting cocaine (Bakshi claimed it was just crushed flowers), and Rev. Wildmon is also known for complaining that Donald Duck doesn't wear any pants (Dave Barry did a whole column on this one). But this particular group's lost most of its influence since the 1980s, or, at least, the mainstream media stopped reporting on them.
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slykura



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 4:39 pm Reply with quote
oh my god.... i cannot belive the level of stupidity over in america..... anything that has a slight religous symbol people are afraid of.... that's just arg... If you are usch a cultrually diverse society then why complain about these bloody little small things.. are kids really going to know what the hell tarot cards are in the first place? chances are a high NO so why freak out? get a grip stop going overboard and mental over little insignificant religous or other types of symbols it's no wonder theres so many racists in america... cause everyone's been couped up and not exposed to cultrual diversity so that provoks and encourages racsim... cultrual diversity is the only way thatpeople in this world will stop treating one another as lower class...

wonder what the chances are now of the toys coming to australia... never had we have a case of toys being pulled of the market cause of some minority group claiming religous or occult simlarity.. so glad i live in Australia
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Allen
Company Representative


Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 12:14 am Reply with quote
slykura wrote:

oh my god.... i cannot belive the level of stupidity over in america..... anything that has a slight religous symbol people are afraid of.... that's just arg... If you are usch a cultrually diverse society then why complain about these bloody little small things.. are kids really going to know what the hell tarot cards are in the first place? chances are a high NO so why freak out? get a grip stop going overboard and mental over little insignificant religous or other types of symbols it's no wonder theres so many racists in america... cause everyone's been couped up and not exposed to cultrual diversity so that provoks and encourages racsim... cultrual diversity is the only way thatpeople in this world will stop treating one another as lower class...



America is an interesting country. Due to way things work, a vocal minority can rally enough sheep to cause enough stink to make "big" companies change their mind about things. I would think it more a matter that Taco Bell wasn't pulling in the business they thought they would and a negative controversy wouldn't do anything to change that so it's a good enough excuse to pull the items.

Money is an amazing tool in the U.S. That more than anything else drives what gets censored and what doesn't. America is also a country where any fanatic with a computer can influence enough people to make a stink over something. I think we should also remember that America was founded by the religious fanatics that Western Europe didn't want.

Quote:

wonder what the chances are now of the toys coming to australia... never had we have a case of toys being pulled of the market cause of some minority group claiming religous or occult simlarity.. so glad i live in Australia


In the question of Australia, is there enough exposure of Card Captor Sakura for the toys to be a sought after commodity? That would most likely answer the question.

The original story was presented in a religious newsletter that probably thought they had actually influenced a major company. I'm more of the opinion that it didn't bring in the numbers Taco Bell had hoped, so they decided to pull it.
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 1:00 am Reply with quote
Boxie wrote:

The original story was presented in a religious newsletter that probably thought they had actually influenced a major company. I'm more of the opinion that it didn't bring in the numbers Taco Bell had hoped, so they decided to pull it.


Fair enough theory, actually. Lately, they've also been insinuating that K-Mart's bankruptcy was a direct result of their boycott of the chain for selling Penthouse & Playboy and not because Wal-Mart ate a large segment of their customer base. I wouldn't be surprised if they're using lack of interest over the Cardcaptors promotion (if what actually happened is what Boxie suggests) to make themselves seem more influential than they actually are.
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Ataru



Joined: 04 Jan 2002
Posts: 2252
Location: Missouri (Strikeman)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 1:21 am Reply with quote
Well, it fair enough that it's the land of free speech, that and you can own a firearm. Razz But, I go by my say, "If you don't like it, don't buy it."
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 3:40 pm Reply with quote
Boxie wrote:

The original story was presented in a religious newsletter that probably thought they had actually influenced a major company. I'm more of the opinion that it didn't bring in the numbers Taco Bell had hoped, so they decided to pull it.


I hadn't seen this before, but Kathie Shadie of http://www.relapsedcatholic.com/​ has been investigating this story all week, since the initial article about Taco Bell selling "tarot cards" to kids. Boxie's suspicions are almost right; apparently the promotion was scheduled to end on the 28th of January, before the AFA posted the first article on the subject. So the AFA is clearly exaggerating their role in the decision to pull the cards from the restaurants, in the same sort of way that they take credit each time Disney's profits dip, claiming it's mainly due to their ongoing boycott of the company. (Not that AFA types are the only ones that like to give themselves credit whenever Disney's profits don't meet Eisner's projections; remember the LA Times article last summer about Disney's misfortunes that many anime fans took as evidence that anime "is kicking Disney's arse" as one AintItCool.com Talkback poster put it? The only anime mentioned in the entire article was Sailor Moon, and that was in the same sentence as, if I remember correctly, Teletubbies and Rugrats, so they weren't excactly talking about more "mature" anime like Lain, Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop eating away at Disney's fanbase. But I digress...)
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Psycho Caterpie



Joined: 01 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 10:13 am Reply with quote
Mad Some hardcore religious people are too *&*@ stubborn to let us have fun!!
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Wedge



Joined: 04 Feb 2002
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:

Fair enough theory, actually. Lately, they've also been insinuating that K-Mart's bankruptcy was a direct result of their boycott of the chain for selling Penthouse & Playboy and not because Wal-Mart ate a large segment of their customer base. I wouldn't be surprised if they're using lack of interest over the Cardcaptors promotion (if what actually happened is what Boxie suggests) to make themselves seem more influential than they actually are.


Actually, one of the many many factors leading to K-Mart's demise was the stopage of sales of fire-arms... Since K-Mart used to be one of the biggest fire arm retailers in the country, Wal Mart is now #1.

But anyhoo, the toys were stupid anyway. The dub is total crap, and does anybody even watch it? I mean, how many people pull up to the drive-thru and actually recognize what the toys are even from. Probably one of the more moronic toy promos from Taco Bell.

But religious groups have the right to complain about stuff. It's not like they were asking for government action or anything... or sueing or something. But I think most religious people look at something like that and just say "feh". Now if they had a required class in public school where you had to learn how to read tarot cards... that'd be different. BUt this is just a case of a small minority of my religious group finding someting to complain about. *shrugs* Taco Bell should run a Miss Cleo promo. Her commericials are more enjoyable than most tv shows.

-Wedge
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Psycho Caterpie



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2002 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Who's "Miss Cleo"?
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Belldandy



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 4:04 am Reply with quote
What kind of effect do you think this will have on the Carl's Jr. Cardcaptor Promo being done for the release of the movie?
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 10:20 am Reply with quote
Belldandy wrote:

What kind of effect do you think this will have on the Carl's Jr. Cardcaptor Promo being done for the release of the movie?


Probably neglgible, since this whole affair from the AFA's point-of-view isn't anti-Cardcaptors per se, but anti-Tarot-like cards at Taco Bell. I haven't yet seen any indication from the AFA that they care one way or the other about Cardcaptors.
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