Did Fast Food Marketer Pizza Hut Take Its Eyes Off Pies?

According to AdAge.com, “Pizza Hut’s ordering up a new agency, but it sure seems as if it’s the marketer that’s not delivering.”
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“The nation’s leading pizza chain, faced with an 8% decline in same-store sales during its last quarter and what many believe will be gloomy results in an earnings report coming this week, threw into review its $200 million account. The blame-the-advertising strategy has been used by Pizza Hut in the past — during its 22-year tenure at BBDO, New York, it put the business up for grabs several times when results went rocky, only to stay with the shop on each occasion.”

“But there’s a more basic problem here beyond ads: Pizza Hut lavished so much attention on its new (and successful) pasta and wings products that some experts think its recent new pizzas — an all-natural pizza and stuffed-crust pan pizza — got lost in the messaging. The recession dinged its relatively high-priced, dinner-oriented menu. And it settled on — or perhaps even encouraged — uninspiring advertising featuring families sitting down to dinner or B-list celebrities (such as Donald Trump and Jessica Simpson) and diverted a big chunk of its pizza budget to the newer pasta initiatives.”