Domino’s Pizza and the USDA: The Bailout You Didn’t Hear About

"2010-11-09-DominosImage2.png"According to the Huffington Post, “Chalk up another victory for Stephen Colbert’s gut. Back in January, the touter of all things truthy declared Domino’s Pizza his “Alpha Dog of The Week” for a ‘game-changing ad campaign’ to promote its new pizza recipe. Consumers had complained that the old formula tasted like ketchup-covered cardboard, a factor that presumably contributed to the company’s sagging sales.”

“So, Domino’s did two things: it reformulated its pizzas to contain nearly twice as much cheese; and launched an ad campaign which took the bold step of acknowledging just how awful its old pizzas were, while gushing about the ‘cheese, cheese, CHEESE!!! that distinguishes the new recipe from the old one. With the logos of Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and AIG on display behind him, Colbert applauded Domino’s ‘for joining the great American corporate tradition of screwing your customers and then having the balls to ask them to come back for more.'”

“Turns out that Domino’s had something else in common with these ethically challenged entities, aside from the dubious products they dumped on unwitting dupes. As Sunday’s New York Times revealed, Domino’s effort to rebrand itself and thereby revive its flagging fortunes was partly financed by a government handout, or, if you prefer, corporate welfare. According to the Times’ Michael Moss, Domino’s $12 million marketing campaign was created and financed by a USDA-funded organization called Dairy Management.”