Kraft Forces Pizza Hut To Pull 'Vegemite Pizza' Ads

Pizza Hut has quietly pulled online advertising for its Mitey Stuffed Crust pizza following complaints from Vegemite owner Kraft. The offending advert depicted foreign backpackers retching in disgust at the taste of the new product. The "takeaway" lesson here is that you probably shouldn't publicly insult your business partner — even if it's just a joke.

Last week, Pizza Hut launched the Mitey Stuffed Crust pizza; a cheese-filled crust infused with Australia’s favourite breakfast spread. It's a surprisingly tasty flavour combination that was the perfect Australia Day indulgence.

The accompanying advert attempted to poke fun at Vegemite's gruesome reputation among non-Australians:

Needless to say, Kraft wasn't too happy about this and the advert has since been pulled from all official channels. While it's easy to lambaste Kraft for having no sense of humour, it's perfectly reasonable for a company to protect the reputation of its brand. (Presumably Pizza Hut would react similarly if one of its partners poked fun at the shrinking size of its pizzas, for example.)

Kraft also took exception to the Mitey Stuffed Crust's logo which was deemed too similar to Vegemite's. Apparently, Kraft had not given Pizza Hut permission to explicitly reference Vegemite. (Indeed, the word "Vegemite" doesn't actually appear in the campaign materials.)

In addition to pulling its adverts, Pizza Hut has also modified the Mitey Stuffed Crust branding on its website. The pizza is still available to order, however.

While we understand Kraft's decision, it does point out the ridiculous nature of the contract. Not being allowed to mention Vegemite while advertising an official Vegemite pizza just seems bonkers.

[Via: Mumbrella]


Comments

    Why didn't they just get on board with Kraft... More people eating Vegimite the better

    I thought that ad was pretty funny. I think Kraft are just being overly sensitive.

    No company wants one of its products to be advertised as revolting, even if it is as a joke. PH didn't show much common sense with this.

    If they had foreigners saying they didn't like it, but Australians saying they loved it, it might have been a bit better.

      the ending of the ad has aussies saying "it's nice", "lots of veggiemite" "keeping aussies strong".

    You have your customers (the in group) and those who are not your customers (the out group).
    Ads like this strengthen the bond with the in group. That's a good thing for your brand.

    If Kraft thinks the number of out group members who will try Vegemite without this ad is greater than either the quantity of Vegemite it's selling to Pizza Hut as an ingredient, or that somehow the out group will try and fall in love with Vegemite because it's in a pizza crust (or both) - they are as stupid as ever.**

    **The Vegemite marketing people brought us iSnack 2.0.

    "Indeed, the word “Vegemite” doesn’t actually appear in the campaign materials."

    I'm confused by this statement... It appeared in the video at least once in text and a couple of times verbally. It would be hard to advertise this without saying what it actually is.

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