|Founded||1996 in Kelburn, Wellington|
|Products||Pizza, Pasta, Salads|
Hell Pizza is a New Zealand-based pizza chain. Hell began in New Zealand in 1996 next to Victoria University, and has expanded within New Zealand and to the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada, Korea and India.
Hell Pizza International is owned by Warren Powell, Callum Davies and Stu McMullin. In 2006, Hell sold the New Zealand Master Franchise rights to Tasman Pacific Foods (the NZ master franchisee for Burger King) for NZ$15,000,000 and aimed to expand to the UK. The NZ Master Franchise rights were purchased back from Tasman Pacific Foods in 2009.
There are currently 65 stores nationwide in New Zealand. Since arriving to the UK in 2006, Hell have opened a pilot store in Fulham, as well as two franchisee operated stores in Clapham and Shepherds Bush, all in London. Australia has opened two stores in South-east Queensland. Hell also opened its first stores in Dublin, Ireland, and Vancouver, Canada, in 2009, India in 2010, and in Korea. The store in Dublin has subsequently closed.
In 2009, Hell Pizza owner Warren Powell verbally pledged to pay all proceeds from a Hell takeaway van at the Big Night In Telethon to the charity KidsCan, amounting to about NZ$10,000. Julie Nelson, chief executive of the charity, said "after seeing reports that some of the money raised was failing to reach needy children, Powell reneged on the deal." On 14 August 2011, the Hell Pizza Facebook page stated "We can confirm that we have now contributed $10,000 to the KidsCan Charitable Trust."
The company is notable for its offensive advertising and for being the first company in New Zealand to offer online pizza ordering, in 1996. Their logo, and their pizzas, are used on the Sporting Hell segment on the television show Pulp Sport.
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On 31 October 2006 Hell announced through a press release it would be promoting its "Lust" pizza by distributing 170,000 branded condoms. They said that "while the primary aim of the campaign is to promote our LUST pizza, let's not forget that promoting the use of condoms has important public benefits such as sexual education, the prevention of pregnancy and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections".
Mocking of Christianity
A radio advertisement that featured a humorous conversation about Hell was felt to be mocking of Christianity and deemed offensive. The ASA ruled that there were no grounds to take any action on the complaint since "it did not reach the threshold to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence".
"Selling your soul"
The expression "sell your soul" was used in flyers, the company website and in television and radio advertising. It attracted a complaint to the ASA on the grounds of being "This flippant attitude towards something that many New Zealand citizens ... believed to be significant and consequential..." The ASA ruled that there were no grounds to proceed about the complaint since it is a common saying and recognised to be dark and satirical. Hell also purchased the soul of a 24-year-old Wanganui man for $5001, after the online auction website Trademe withdrew his attempt to sell it there.
Halloween dead celebrities
In November 2008, while under management from Tasman Foods, Hell Pizza New Zealand apologised for an advertisement featuring skeletal remains of Sir Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger, and the Queen Mother, dancing on gravestones. The apology was to Hillary's family, which complained the ad was in "extremely poor taste". The ad was withdrawn from the company website on 3 November.
Real Rabbit Campaign
In April 2014 Hell Pizza released a new pizza for Easter - rabbit flavoured. It is being advertised both on its website and on billboards covered in rabbit pelts. The billboard claims that both itself and the pizza are made from real rabbit. The billboard has received both criticism and praise; the New Zealand Vegetarian Society, who approved of Hell's vegetarian options, have criticised the billboard.
- Hurley, Bevan (24 July 2011). "Charity cops one Hell of a loss". The New Zealand Herald.
- KidsCan Update Hell Pizza Facebook page, "HELL regularly makes major contributions to local and national causes. One of the most recent was a donation of more than $175,000 to the Canterbury earthquake recovery/"
- Barratt, Joseph (25 July 2010). "Police called over pizza hack". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
- "HELL distributes condoms to promote Lust". Scoop. Hell Pizza. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Hell’s Pizza sinks to offensive advertising". Scoop. Family First Lobby. 2 November 2006. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Advertising Standards Authority (2008-05-13). "08/231 - Hell Pizza Radio Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Advertising Standards Authority (2008-08-22). "08/396 - Hell Pizza Direct Mail Website and Television Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Man sells his soul to Hell". Manawatu Standard. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Tedmanson, Sophie (3 November 2008). "Pizza company apologies for ad featuring Hillary, Ledger and the Queen Mother". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- Guillaume, Jenna (April 11, 2014). "A Pizza Chain In NZ Has Set Up A Billboard Made Of Dead Rabbits". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 17, 2014.