Tortilla company hopes social media campaign sways creditors

TAMPA, FL: La Bonita Ole is using social media to spread the story of the company, which is facing financial problems, and encourage consumers to buy their products: tortillas.

TAMPA, FL: La Bonita Ole is using social media to spread the story of the company, which is facing financial problems, and encourage consumers to buy their products: tortillas. "Save the Tortillas" launched on June 26 as a way to engage consumers and build up the company's viability.

La Bonita Ole filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008, and restructured under the auspices of SunTrust Bank. Plans are now being submitted to creditors by both parties, and under SunTrust's plan, La Bonita Ole CEO and founder could lose her company and job, according to a report in Tampa Tribune.

Young has brought on Julia Gorzka, creator of Brand Tampa, to oversee the social media aspect of the campaign, including a Web site, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Holly Clifford Corral, president of Tango Marketing, is handling media relations for "Save the Tortillas," targeting local and national outlets. Fork Bomb Studios and Think Cycles are also involved with the campaign, creating the Web site and focusing on Twitter, respectively.

"This is the most extensive PR campaign we've ever done as a company," Young said. La Bonita Ole was founded in 1993. SunTrust has asked the company to stop the campaign and a judge has ordered La Bonita Ole to re-write some of the site's text, the Tampa Tribune reported.

"Legal precedents exist for using Web sites to influence bankruptcy court outcomes," the article said, "but social media has yet to have its day in court."

"Our story is very relevant to the times and relates to the struggles and difficulties that many Americans are facing," Young said. La Bonita Ole wants to "bring our story to the people of the United States of America in hopes we will gain their support in buying products, establishing that we are a viable company."

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