Hell Pizza is not concerned by a call by a Catholic newspaper to boycott its products in response to a recent condom mail-out.
To promote its Lust pizza, Hell distributed 170,000 condoms, along with explicit instructions on their use, to homes around the country.
The move prompted hundreds of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled Hell breached standards of decency and social responsibility.
An editorial in the latest edition of NZ Catholic newspaper calls on readers to abstain from purchasing any of the items from Hell.
Kirk MacGibbon of Cinderella Marketing, the firm which handles all of Hell’s advertising, said if Catholics decided on a boycott there wasn’t much Hell could do about it.
“I’m not sure how many Catholics buy from Hell, anyway,” Mr MacGibbon said.
The Lust campaign had been hugely successful, and had been a chance for Hell to be controversial while also doing some good, he said.
As well as promoting Hell pizzas, the campaign was meant to draw attention to New Zealand’s high rate of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, Mr MacGibbon said.
“When we did research we found … it’s people like the Catholic church who are giving people advice that condoms don’t work in protecting you from sexual diseases and the best course is abstinence. That is a load of rubbish.”
Mr MacGibbon said the company had a loyal customer base and sales wouldn’t be affected by a Catholic boycott.
The Lust controversy broke out shortly before Hell was purchased by new owners Tasman Pacific Foods (TPF).
Its new general manager Colin Mellar said the condom promotion had not offended TPF, nor had it dissuaded the company from buying Hell.
They weren’t worried about a possible boycott, and stood by Hell’s products, Mr Mellar said.
“If the Pope himself had tried the Lust pizza he might be a converted customer.”