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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Type Limited
Founded 1996 in Wellington
Headquarters  New Zealand
Industry Fast food
Products Pizza, Pasta, Salads

Hell Pizza is a New Zealand-based pizza chain. Hell first began in New Zealand in early 1996 next to Victoria University. With advertising, the name Hell has gained a reputation and cult following from its new New Zealand base.



Hell Pizza worldwide is owned by Warren Powell, Callum Davies and Stu McMullin. In 2006, Hell sold the New Zealand Master Franchise rights to Tasman Foods (NZ master franchisee for Burger King) for NZ$15,000,000 and set sail for foreign shores, with their sights primarily on the UK. The Master Franchise rights were purchased back from Tasman Foods in 2009.

There are currently 64 stores nationwide in New Zealand. Since arriving in the UK two years ago with plans to expand rapidly, Hell have opened a pilot store in Fulham, London,[1] although there are plans to open a second and they are still hoping to expand. Australia has opened 6 stores in Brisbane with plans to open more in 09. HELL Ireland openened its first store in April 9 in Dublin. Hell pizza is set to open a new store in Vancouver, Canada by the end of 2009.[2]

The pilot store for Hell Pizza was called "The Pizza Place", it opened in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt, New Zealand two years prior to the Hell Pizza brand being established.


Hell Pizzas use the Hell theme throughout their marketing. For instance:

  • Seven of the pizzas are named after the seven deadly sins.
  • The dessert and drinks sections on their menu are named ambrosia and nectar respectively.
  • The stores have custom wallpaper, lava lights, flaming seats and wicked chandeliers
  • The large pizza boxes have a cut-out of a coffin, "for your remains."
  • The anti-litter message on the box says to "dispose of the evidence."
  • The phone number (0800 666 111 in NZ and 08456 666 999 in the UK) carries the message "go to hell (666) for an emergency (111, 999)."

The company is notable for its humorous 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.

Marketing controversies

Hell Pizza has had a number of complaints made about its advertising.

Condom advertising

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".[3]

Within days, groups such as Family Life International, Focus on the Family and the Catholic Church had lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). 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".[4] In addition there were complaints that the packaging contained "explicit instructions"[5], though these are the typical instructions that come with condoms.

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".[6]

"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.[7] 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.[8]

Halloween dead celebrities

In November 2008, the Hell Pizza 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.[9]


External links

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