Hell Pizza

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IndustryFast food
Founded1996 in Kelburn, Wellington
HeadquartersNew Zealand
ProductsPizza, 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, Ireland, Canada, Korea and India. A store was previously open in Queensland, Australia though has since closed.


Hell Pizza was started by Callum Davies and Stuart McMullin.[1] 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. The NZ Master Franchise rights were purchased back from Tasman Pacific Foods in 2009. In August 2011, founder Warren Powell left Hell Pizza New Zealand and in July 2014, he left Hell Pizza International. There are 64 Hell stores nationwide in New Zealand, Australia had a store in South-east Queensland that has since closed and Canada has one store in North Vancouver.


The Hell theme is used in the menu. Seven standard pizzas are named after the seven deadly sins.

The company is notable for its controversial advertising and for being the first company in New Zealand to offer online pizza ordering, in 1996.[citation needed] They sponsored a segment on the television show Pulp Sport.

Mocking of Christianity[edit]

A radio advertisement that featured a humorous conversation about Hell attracted one complaint in New Zealand. The Advertising Standards Authority ASA did not uphold the complaint since "it did not reach the threshold to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence".[2]

"Selling your soul"[edit]

Hell Pizza used the expression "sell your soul" in mass advertising in 2013 in New Zealand. It received one complaint to the ASA that "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, since "sell your soul" is a common saying and recognised as dark and satirical.[3] 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.[4]

Halloween dead celebrities[edit]

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.[5]

Pizza Roulette[edit]

In 2012, Hell Pizza marketed 'Pizza Roulette', in which one unidentified slice of a pizza is doused with chili. Marketing called it the "hottest chili known to mankind".[6]

Real Rabbit Campaign[edit]

In April 2014 Hell Pizza released rabbit flavoured pizza for Easter and advertised it in New Zealand on billboards covered in rabbit pelts. The billboard has received both criticism and praise; the New Zealand Vegetarian Society criticised the billboard.[7]


Broken Charity Pledge[edit]

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."[8] 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."[9]


In July 2010, after hackers attacked the Hell Pizza customer database, 230,000 customers were advised to change their passwords.[10]


On 31 October 2006 Hell announced through a press release it would be promoting its "Lust" pizza by distributing 170,000 branded condoms.[11] The Family First Lobby said Hell has "crossed the line of what is decent and acceptable advertising material to be put in letterboxes of families".[12] It was later revealed that the condoms failed to comply with New Zealand labelling and packaging requirements, and remaining stocks were destroyed.[13]


  1. ^ "The history of Hell Pizza". Stuff. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ Advertising Standards Authority (2008-05-13). "08/231 - Hell Pizza Radio Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Archived from the original on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  3. ^ Advertising Standards Authority (2008-08-22). "08/396 - Hell Pizza Direct Mail Website and Television Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Archived from the original on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  4. ^ "Man sells his soul to Hell". Manawatu Standard. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  5. ^ Tedmanson, Sophie (3 November 2008). "Pizza company apologies for ad featuring Hillary, Ledger and the Queen Mother". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  6. ^ "Pizza Roulette: One Slice From Pie Has 'Hottest Chili Known To Mankind' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  7. ^ Guillaume, Jenna (11 April 2014). "A Pizza Chain In NZ Has Set Up A Billboard Made Of Dead Rabbits". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  8. ^ Hurley, Bevan (24 July 2011). "Charity cops one Hell of a loss". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  9. ^ 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/"
  10. ^ Barratt, Joseph (25 July 2010). "Police called over pizza hack". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  11. ^ "HELL distributes condoms to promote Lust". Scoop. Hell Pizza. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Hell's Pizza sinks to offensive advertising". Scoop. Family First Lobby. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  13. ^ Hurley, Bevan (31 July 2011). "Free condoms weren't up to scratch". Herald on Sunday. Retrieved 25 September 2016.

External links[edit]