Pizza Hut has taken the unusual step of apologising for a free pizza offer before it even appeared in print following a backlash on social media.
The fast food franchise used its delivery account on Twitter to say sorry “for any offence caused” by its partnership with The Sun.
It had received thousands of comments in response to its promotion of the offer, which began in The Sun on Sunday.
We apologise for any offence caused as a result of this partnership. The aim of this offer was simply to give our customers the chance to enjoy a free pizza to share with their family and friends.
— Pizza Hut DeliveryUK (@pizzahutdeliver) December 2, 2017
Pizza Hut UK said on Saturday evening: “The aim of this offer was simply to give our customers the chance to enjoy a free pizza to share with their family and friends.”
The incident was similar in nature to a promotional campaign in the Daily Mail last month that also fell foul of social media users.
The stationary firm Paperchase said it would not run any further offers with the newspaper, which blamed internet trolls for the backlash against the offer of free Christmas wrapping paper.
A campaign group called Stop Funding Hate was involved in both instances.
However, The Sun sought to play down Pizza Hut’s decision – suggesting this was not a ‘Paperchase moment’ for the paper.
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A spokesman said: “The promotion is running until Thursday as originally planned.”
Sky News was awaiting a statement from Pizza Hut.