Pizza Hut Advertised “Free Small Animal” with Pizza Purchase


A missing word from a promotional banner led to one of Pizza Hut Australia's most disastrous campaigns ever.

Fast food companies spend (hopefully) a significant portion of their time keeping “small animals,” like rodents and other crawling creatures, away from their businesses, but a Pizza Hut location in Melbourne, Australia went in exactly the opposite direction. In an attempt to stir up business for a neighboring pet store, the restaurant advertised a generous, four-month-long deal of “one free small animal” with the purchase of any 10 large pizzas.

If that promotion sounds horrific to you, you’re not alone. On social media, users urged Pizza Hut Australia not to “give away animals like toys” and to “please cease this awful promotion.”

 In fact, there was one critical word missing from the huge banner that was meant to help out the local Pets Story pet shop, and that word is “kit.” For two weeks, the Melbourne Pizza Hut apparently left up the sign that was meant to say, "Buy any 10 pizzas and get one free small animal kit." The acquisition of the animal itself was not meant to be the domain of the international pizza chain.

Pizza Hut Australia has apologized for the “thoughtless promotion” (during which no animals were actually given away by either party, and released a statement of apology:

“It has come to our attention that one of our stores have [sic] recently been running a promotion which was not approved by Pizza Hut Australia, nor was condoned in any circumstances. We would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this.”

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.