Hell Pizza under fire over condom promotion

Hell Pizza's latest "condom" promotion has fuelled public anger and brought about 30 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority in a matter of hours.

The Advertising Standards Authority said today it had been inundated with complaints about Hell Pizza's latest promotion.

The pizza company has included condoms in a mail-out to promote its "Lust" pizza.

The small pamphlet advertising the Lust pizza contains a condom, and explicit instructions on how to use the condom during sex.

Authority executive director Hillary Souter said today the authority received more than 30 complaints in just a few hours this morning.

Ms Souter said complainants were concerned about the access children could have to the condoms. She said she hoped the board would consider whether the advertising was appropriate at its meeting on Tuesday.

The Catholic Church also criticised the Hell Pizza condom letter-box drop.

President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference Bishop Denis Browne said the pizza promotion went beyond the "merely tacky".

He said it was a breach of advertising standards and an affront to New Zealanders.

The church had received a number of complaints from people offended at finding a condom along with the advertising in their letterbox, Bishop Browne said.

Lobby group Focus on the Family said people did not want children pulling condoms out of the mail box.

Executive director Tim Sisarich said it was "effectively handing to anybody, no matter what age they are, a condom and instructing them how to use it".

The connection between "meat-lovers" pizzas and condoms cheapened women and the act of sex, Mr Sisarich said.

"I can see how Hell Pizza would have seen this as a fun and invocative marketing campaign. But it is totally inappropriate and every parent should feel offended at Hell Pizza's blatant disregard of the innocent minds of our children."

National director of Family First Bob McCoskrie said Hell Pizza had crossed the line of what was decent and acceptable advertising material to be put in letterboxes of families.

"It is offensive to families to have condoms and explicit sex instructions put in their letterbox, and it is unacceptable for Hell Pizza to link pizza with the intimate act of sex," Mr McCoskrie said.

Hell Pizza's Warren Powell told One News today he was not going to apologise over the promotion.

"New Zealand has got the third highest rate of teenage pregnancies in the developed world, so we have not got a problem with children getting hold of them (condoms).

"It forces the parents to talk about sex and I don't see that as a bad thing."

Mr Powell said he did not believe he was taking away parents' freedom of choice to decide when to talk about sex with their children.

"Maybe they don't deserve that choice but we are not doing a great job, obviously."

- NZPA

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