Food Fight: Law and Public Relations in Pizza Wars
Brad Reid, Andrew Borchers
January 1, 2016
comparison advertising, Lanham Act, restaurants, lawsuits
Journal of Critical Incidents
This decision-oriented critical incident addresses potential legal and marketing conflicts in the restaurant industry based on claims of superior food or of inferior competitor products. The organizational focus is Pizza Hut and its response to Domino’s in a recent comparison advertising campaign (Buss, 2015). At the time of this incident, Pizza Hut was trying to relaunch its brand and restore sales while Domino’s was gaining market share. The critical incident looks back at a historic case (Pizza Hut v. Papa John’s International) from the late 1990s with similar circumstances. The incident leaves students to answer how Pizza Hut should respond to Domino’s comparison advertising, considering legal, ethical, and marketing factors.