Hamster and Pineapple pizza, anyone? A Pizza Hut franchise in Victoria has been forced to apologise after offering customers "a free small animal" when ordering ten pizzas. The ill-advised promotion was run in conjunction with a neighboring pet shop before outraged animal rights groups saw the deal hastily withdrawn. As bad ideas go, this one is worse than the Cheeseburger Crust.
The bizarre "free pet" promotion first appeared on a Mount Waverley Pizza Hut's storefront window on 1 September. As the poster explained, any customer that ordered ten pizzas would receive a voucher which could be exchanged for a small critter of their choice from local pet shop Pets Story.
Needless to say, the offer was not authorised by Pizza Hut Australia, which quickly stepped in to shut the promotion down and issue the following apology:
It has come to our attention that one of our stores have recently been running a promotion which was not approved by Pizza Hut Australia, nor was condoned in any circumstances. We would like to sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by this. The poster has since been taken down and all those involved have been made aware of the severity and inappropriateness of the promotion. On behalf of Pizza Hut Australia we once again apologise for this thoughtless promotion ever occurring and would like to reassure you all that this matter is being seriously dealt with.
Pizza Hut later confirmed on its Facebook page that no pets had been given away throughout the promotion. Nevertheless, customers have continued to take the franchise to task over the deal on social media. Animal rights group Oscar’s Law slammed the promotion as completely unacceptable.
While animal rights groups tend to overact in situations like this, we've got to side with Oscar’s Law on this one. Most people that order ten pizzas at once are usually in the midst of a drunken party. This is not the kind of environment that any freebie hamster should be exposed to.
In conclusion, giving away live animals with fast food is just bad business sense: don't do it.