Toppers Pizza's latest ad campaign features a certain national pizza chain—along with its red and blue logo. "Them: dough fresh off the semi," it reads. "Us: dough made in-house daily. Not making dough in house? What. The. Truck."
The joke here, you see, is that dough from a semi truck is not actually all that fresh. And because nothing gets by Domino's Pizza's crack legal team, they hit Wisconsin-based Toppers with a cease and desist faster than you can say "We're firing it up!"
"Domino's Pizza, founded in 1960, is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery and has invested substantial resources in protecting its intellectual property," the June 11 letter begins. "Considerable time and resources were spent by Domino's in the creative design, display and usage of the Domino's name and logo."
The notice goes on to say that Toppers' campaign "defames our brand and incorporates our registered trademark." They've included a copy of the ad, which a customer apparently sent their way. (Narc!) And they conclude with their demands: Toppers is to stop using the logo and submit confirmation that they've done so within five (5) business days. Or else.
But Toppers is neither ceasing nor desisting, according to a Thursday blog post from founder and CEO Scott Gittrich. "Excuse me for telling the truth!" the miffed mozzarella man writes, adding a link to an Insider video of Domino's mass dough production. "At Toppers we make our dough from true scratch every single day in the kitchen of every single restaurant. Our pizza people are makers and bakers baby!"
I hope so much that you, too, are reading that as: bay-bee!
Gittrich goes on:
"Domino’s is a Wall Street darling, dough-made-in-a-factory, tech company that happens to make pizza, pizza place. They should just be proud and own and embrace that. Toppers is the made-from-scratch, made-with-love, locally owned and fighting the good fight pizza place; and we are going to own and embrace that. So what to do about this threat from Domino’s … I’d rather we keep our focus on pizza and providing quality to our customers, but if I can’t stand up for how we do it, no one can. Of course we have our own attorneys too. We are completely confident that what we’re saying and how we’re saying it is not only completely legal and fair, it’s the truth."
And as a result? They're not pulling the ad.
This isn't the first time Gittrich has gone after the national chains—he also took aim at Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's in a March blog. ("Just because they suck doesn't mean they're bad people.") The guy really doesn't like frozen dough.
A representative for Toppers says there's been no further action from Domino's camp beyond the initial cease and desist, which you can read in full below.