An Australian Pizza Hut came under serious criticism earlier this month for a truly thoughtless promotional campaign that offered free pets to customers making bulk purchases.
The store, which is located in the suburb of Mount Waverly, southeast of Melbourne, had a sign in its window that advertised: “Buy any 10 large pizzas and get one free small animal from Pets Story.”
— Debra (@DebraTranter) September 14, 2014
The tasteless giveaway, which was not condoned by Pizza Hut Australia, was immediately flamed on social media. People could not believe that the store had deemed it appropriate to, as one Twitter user put it, “give away animals like toys."
A local animal rights organization, Oscar's Law, got involved and added fuel to the fire by demanding the store take down the sign. After first covering it up, the sign was eventually removed.
Pizza Hut Australia apologized, and insisted that no animals were actually given away by the rogue franchise.
“On behalf of Pizza Hut Australia we once again [apologize] for this thoughtless promotion ever occurring and would like to reassure you all that this matter is being seriously dealt with," the company said in a statement.