Hell Pizza Pulls Ghastly Heath Ledger Ad

Kitchen Too Hot for New Zealand Pizza Chain Fond of Controversial Marketing

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Another day, another marketer doing some outrageous stunt it quickly pulls back on after the outrage is registered -- but not before the offending brand gets global attention.

This time it's the New Zealand chain Hell Pizza that's created the ready-made marketing controversy with its web campaign featuring the grave-dancing skeletons of three recently departed celebrities, Sir Edmund Hillary, the Queen Mother and, perhaps most gruesomely, the actor Heath Ledger, who passed away this year at the age of 28. Needless to say, this promotion, crafted by Colenso BBDO, Auckland, kicked up a fair amount outrage, including some angry words from Sir Edmund's son, who called it "disturbing."

As these things go, Hell quickly backpedaled and pulled it. But before departing the graveyard, Hell marketer Rachel Allison left us with this: "Interpretation of this is always up to individuals, and we are always mindful of that and always keep an eye on our tone of voice and try to keep on top of that."

We'd link to the site but it doesn't exist anymore. The image above is courtesy of the excellent blog Campaign Brief.
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