A group of former interns at Taco Bell’s ad agency claim they came up with the Doritos Taco idea.
Andrea Watt, Mark Rader and Roy Brown were part of a summer internship at Taco Bell in 1995. They pitched the idea of a Doritos-shell taco to Taco Bell executives as part of an intern competition.
“The whole goal was to come up with a product … and ours was the Doritos taco,” former intern Roy Brown told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
Back in 1995, they lost the contest, but their idea turned out to be a winner more than 15 years later.
Taco Bell has made more than $1 billion in sales from its Doritos Locos Taco, which it launched in 2012.
“When I saw it come out, my jaw almost dropped,” Watt said. “I’m surprised it took so long, it was just so obvious to us then. When we did our presentation they were like, ‘It’s not really that marketable,’ and we were like, ‘What?’”
In a statement to ABC News, Taco Bell said, “From interns to inmates, we’ve had no shortage of people claiming to have thought of the ‘idea’ of a Doritos flavored taco.”
One intern told the Huffington Post that she doesn’t expect Taco Bell to pay compensation, but “I would just like someone to recognize that it was a good idea,” she said. “I’m sure I signed away that anything I pitched to them was their property anyway,” Watt said. “I would just like someone to recognize that it was a good idea.”
Taco Bell insists the idea was “conceived, developed, and successfully brought to market” by Frito-Lay and Taco Bell.
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