Pizza ‘lust’ campaign attracts numerous complaints

Friday, November 3, 2006

New Zealand’s Hell Pizza company sparked a storm of protest on Thursday after putting 170,000 condoms in mailboxes.

Hell Pizza, located in 18 cities throughout New Zealand, included a condom and explicit instructions on how to use it during sex in its small pamphlet delivered to promote its “Lust” pizza, and has attracted more than 30 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Groups such as Family Life International, Focus on the Family and the Catholic Church have condemned the campaign as encouraging children to use the condoms and follow the “explicit instructions” contained in the packet and called for a boycott of the company.

“From the feedback we’re getting a lot of people are making complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and are boycotting Hell’s Pizza, and we encourage that.”

The church had received a number of complaints from people offended at finding a condom along with the advertising in their letterbox, Bishop Browne said.

Bob McCoskrie, national director of the group Family First said Hell Pizza had crossed the line of what was decent and acceptable advertising material to be put in letterboxes of families and that the connection between “meat-lovers” pizzas and condoms cheapened women and the act of sex, and that Hell Pizza’s advertising has previously been cheeky and fun, but he thinks the line has now been crossed.

“It is offensive to families to have condoms and explicit sex instructions put in their letterbox, and it is unacceptable for Hell Pizza to link pizza with the intimate act of sex,” McCoskrie says.

McCoskrie says children and families should be protected from offensive grubby advertising.

“It is time we started protecting our children and families. Family First believes the Advertising Standards Authority will be receiving plenty of complaints about Hell Pizza’s latest advertising campaign.”

Hell Pizza’s director Warren Powell refused to apologise for distributing the condoms.

Powell says the company discussed the promotion with Family Planning and the Aids Foundation and they completely support the campaign.

“While the primary aim of the campaign is to promote our Lust pizza, let’s not forget that promoting the use of condoms has important public benefits,” said Warren Powell.

“Government and public agencies distribute these things for free to young people.”

“Before this campaign started we rang a number of these agencies and offered them our excess condoms at no charge.”