Pizza Hut Australia Is Not Handing Out Free Hamsters With Purchase

Pets aren’t prizes. That’s why goldfish games have been disappearing from carnival midways, and why people around the world were horrified when they saw that a Pizza Hut restaurant in Australia was offering a free small pet with the purchase of ten pizzas. The in-store placard featured a photo of a guinea pig, and it was not an appetizer. Pizza Hut says this was all a huge misunderstanding.

Here’s the photo that went viral, and was purportedly on display at a Hut near Melbourne:

pizzahut

The sign shows an adorable guinea pig and bears the message, “Buy any 10 large pizzas and get one free small animal from Pets Story.” That’s a local pet store. People who are concerned about the well-being of animals found this idea horrifying. An unprepared pet owner would lack a cage, food, bedding, and most everything else that a small animal would need. Savvy consumers might realize that this could be a ploy to sell pet supplies while giving away animals, but this promotion still had the potential to go terribly wrong. For the animals.

Pizza Hut withdrew the promotion and apologized, sending this statement out through Facebook:

It has come to our attention that one of our stores have recently been running a promotion which was not approved by Pizza Hut Australia, nor was condoned in any circumstances. We would like to sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by this.

“The poster has since been taken down and all those involved have been made aware of the severity and inappropriateness of the promotion. We would like to thank Oscar’s Law and all those who have brought this to our attention this evening

The company later explained that the poster left off a key word: “KIT.” Free small animal kit. You know, like an all-in-one fishtank or a guinea pig cage. A representative for the pet store explained to the Daily Mail what went wrong with this promotion: a terrible proofreading error.

It was supposed to say small animal kit which meant anyone over 18 spending a certain amount at Pizza Hut could have come into us and got a free kit [for] their small animal. It was things like a bird set, a fish tank or a hamster cage. We don’t sell cats or dogs, there is no way we would give away free animals, we only have four rabbits in our whole entire store.

In the end, it didn’t matter, since there were no pets or kits given away before this promotion exploded.

Pizza Hut withdraws offer of free animals with pizza purchase [The Age]