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Pizza Hut forced to pull Vegemite pizza ads

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The Pizza Hut logo

Pizza Hut has pulled the ad campaign for its Mitey Stuffed Crust pizza and is “reviewing all imagery” around the promotion after Vegemite’s owner Kraft took exception to its treatment of the brand.

The restaurant had released the pizza, which has Vegemite and cheese in its crust, in its first campaign from new agency Host. An online video push targeting the Australia Day long weekend featured foreign backpackers being appalled by its taste. But it now appears that Kraft had not given permission for the Vegemite brand to be used in the campaign.

The Vegemite logo

The Vegemite logo

Mumbrella understands those videos and other material on social media and its own website were removed over the weekend at the request of Kraft’s parent company Mondelez,.

Vegemite has been a trademarked name since 1923, with that mark currently owned by Mondelez International, which also now owns the trademarks for several Vegemite logos, including the traditional four sided diamond with rounded corners synonymous with the brand’s labels. 

The Pizza Hut ad featured a similar logo design with the words Mitey Stuffed Crust inside. The logo has also been removed from the Pizza Hut website, although the pizza is still being advertised prominently.

A statement from Pizza Hut said: “For legal reasons, Pizza Hut is currently reviewing all imagery relating to the promotion of the Mitey Stuffed Crust Pizza.”

On Friday Pizza Hut’s head of marketing Fatima Syed told Mumbrella the campaign, which is only running on social media and digital channels, was based on the insight “you’ve got to be Australian to truly appreciate Vegemite”.

She added: “If you didn’t grow up with it, you don’t understand what it is. There’s nothing more Australian than Vegemite and cheese.”

Mondelez issued a statement to Mumbrella saying: “While we can’t comment on specific matters; as the custodians of one of Australia’s most loved and iconic brands, Vegemite, we take brand protection extremely seriously. We take all appropriate action and work diligently to protect our intellectual property when the need arises.”

The original ad is below: 

Alex Hayes

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