LAST CALL: Pizza Hut a bit hot under the collar over the 'C' word

It may look like one, and it probably tastes similar to one, but

please don't describe Pizza Hut's new P'Zone as a calzone.

That's the message from Pizza Hut spokesperson Patty Sullivan, who

commented on the debut of the sandwich-style product in a recent article

in The New York Times. Reached by PRWeek, she elaborated on her reasons

for insisting that the menu item be thought of as "pizza folded over,"

and not as a cleverly-named you-know-what.

"Because that's what the people who participated in the focus group

said," Sullivan explained.

(Ah, we see - Ed.)

Sullivan, citing a need for secrecy, refused to comment on how Pizza Hut

planned to educate the public about the gastronomical distinction

between the P'Zone and similar offerings peddled by other pizza

restaurants and chains.

"Some of the PR strategies we have planned need to remain quiet," she

said of the promotional push behind the P'Zone. "It's not for the

consumer to know yet."

According to Pizza Hut, the P'Zone proved so popular when test-marketed

last fall that some franchises ran out of ingredients during the first

week it was offered. The company did not indicate whether it would take

a page from Sony's buzz-building playbook for the PlayStation 2 by

recreating a similar shortage when the product is launched this


Clearly, though, Pizza Hut has high expectations for its not-a-calzone -

impending identity crisis not withstanding. "This is part of the ongoing

pizza innovation here at Pizza Hut," Sullivan said. "We have done

stuffed crust and twisted crust. Now we're bringing you the P'Zone. We

think it will rock the pizza category."

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