A Pizza Hut in Mount Waverly in Melbourne, Victoria apologized on Sunday to the public for running a campaign with a sign outside of their store offering to give away a free pet with the purchase of pizzas:
“Buy 10 large pizzas and get one free small animal from Pets Story”
Social media immediately began to churn with messages of outrage, and Oscar’s Law, an Australian organization which promotes rescue organizations, animal shelters, and animal rights became involved. Both Twitter and Facebook messages, most reflecting the following sentiments bombarded the Internet:
“Janet Hunter: Seriously the most stupidest idea ever. I will pen a small reminder to their marketing department that I along with thousands of others will no longer be purchasing their pizzas (not that I bought them anyway) and remind them of the hundreds of thousands of animals that are put down due to human stupidity every year.”
“Leesa Burns: This has to be literally the dumbest cross promotion idea ever. There’s so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to start.”
When an Oscar’s Law representative visited Pets Story, the store personnel said the sign was never proofread and it was incorrect, stating they support Oscar’s Law and didn’t have any animals in the back of their store ready to be given away. The sign was supposed to read, “free animal kit,” and a word was left off at printing. According to the Facebook page of Oscar’s Law;
“The poster has since been taken down and all those involved have been made aware of the severity and inappropriateness of the promotion. We would like to thank Oscar’s Law and all those who have brought this to our attention this evening.
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.”
According to Mashable.com, however when Debra Tranter, the president of Oscar’s Law visited Pets Story, an employee told her the store had planned to give away guinea pigs and rabbits, but would have made “sure it was looked after.” After speaking to the employee, the person agreed it was a “terrible idea” which “does not promote responsible pet ownership” and pulled the promotion.
Giving away animals in Victoria is not illegal, but the RSPCA responded with the following message:
“We are pleased to see that Pizza Hut’s head office has taken this issue seriously and since it was brought to their attention, and appear to have taken action to end the campaign immediately. Pizza Hut has condemned the actions of the store and we trust that they will pursue the matter further with the store in question.”
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