Hit or Miss - Pizza Hut causes confusion over news it will rebrand to Pasta Hut

Pizza puzzle

Pizza Hut grabbed headlines this week with the news that it will change its name to Pasta Hut. Or will it? While The Times and The Daily Telegraph wrote that the name switch was short-term, both the FT and the Metro suggested it was permanent. Journalists told PRWeek they blamed Pizza Hut's retained agency Freud Communications - apparently the agency only revealed the name change was temporary at the last minute.


How I see it

- Kate Wild, MD, Wild Card

To pull off a stunt such as this effectively requires focus and clarity of message. The announcement that Pizza Hut was to be renamed Pasta Hut was controversial and certainly attracted the news pages.

The strategy should have been to stick with that story, ride on the back of the controversy and highlight the affection and warmth with which the Pizza Hut name is held in the UK. Then several months later the company should announce that due to popular demand the Pizza Hut name has been reinstated.

Admitting that it is only a temporary measure stops the story in its tracks and also risks alienating consumers who will feel they are being used by Pizza Hut. It only adds to brand confusion over what the chain actually stands for.

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