Monday, July 25, 2011

Pizza Wars

The Herald on Sunday reported yesterday that Hell Pizza had wormed out of paying money to charity; the story began thus:

Hell pizza refused to pay $10,000 the company had pledged to Telethon - after the company's boss asked workmates for advice about how they could avoid paying the "dorks".

Warren Powell initially agreed that Hell would pay the sum to the KidsCan charity in exchange for "exposure" at the Viaduct headquarters of the Big Night In Telethon in 2009.

Suppliers including Goodman Fielder and Red Bull donated boxes of supplies to the company and Hell staff were asked to volunteer their time for the event.

But after seeing reports that some of the money raised was failing to reach needy children, Powell reneged on the deal, says Julie Helson, chief executive of KidsCan.

Helson said Hell Pizza used negative reports about the charity as an excuse to not pay what it owed.

"He reneged on it and they just didn't pay up," she said. "We got nothing.

"Powell was so rude to us, he was filthy, really derogatory."

Hell Pizza has built its reputation on very edgy marketing. On this one though, the Hell Pizza people have well and truly shot themselves in the foot. Yesterday the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter were alive with people condemning Hell Pizza's penny-pinching, and pledging their loyalty elsewhere.

And in the ambush marketing coup of the year, a competitor has responded; read on:

Domino's Pizza last night pledged $10,000 to children's charity KidsCan to fill the void left when a competitor, Hell Pizza, reportedly refused to pay the sum it promised to donate during a telethon.

Hell Pizza director Warren Powell initially agreed that Hell would donate the sum to the KidsCan charity in 2009.

However, KidsCan chief executive Julie Helson said Mr Powell "reneged" on the deal after seeing reports that some of the money raised failed to reach needy children.

Domino's NZ general manager Josh Kilimnik said last night that his company was stepping in because it was "the right thing to do".

Now, we're quite partial to a slice of pizza now and then, and on occasions, we've even been known to eat several slices! We don't have a Hell Pizza branch in Wanganui, which is good for them, because if we did, they would be losing our custom. We do have a Domino's Pizza outlet whoever, and given that no pland have yet been made for dinner this evening, we might just have to go and give them some of our dosh.

Well done Domino's for doing the right thing by KidsCan. Meanwhile Hell Pizza might reflect on deadly sin #3; greed!


Ciaron said...

Is there any truth to the accusation levelled by Powell? I'm no Hell fan, but it wouldn't be the first time a "charity" has skimmed a bit off the top...

Quintin Hogg said...

There as some suggestion that there was some money taken for costs, but that has not been resolved. I think the paper suggests not.

Either way welching on a pledge is not a good look.

We don't have a Hell pizzas near us, but we do have a dominos just along the road, which the boys like. I'm not so certain as the product tastes like flavoured cardboard.

jabba said...

I would have thought Sue Kegdley would have had pizzas banned by now

Bill Bennett said...

It's year's since Hell Pizza jumped the shark.

I'm impressed at the lengths Powell will go to in order to restart the publicity machine. :-)