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Papa John’s Faces $250 Million Lawsuit Over Spam

Posted 11/14/2012 6:00 am by

When it comes to pizza, advertising for the product is unavoidable.  Television, radio, print media, online ads… pizza advertisements are as ubiquitous as mozzarella cheese for the various pizza chains of the world.  Nobody does advertising quite like Papa John’s.  Trading on their owner/founder’s regular guy status, Papa John’s has built a pizza empire using impressive stunts like free pizza for the Super Bowl coin flip to build their brand.  However, some people claim that Papa John’s advertisements and deals are unwanted, and have filed a lawsuit to that effect.  Papa John’s is facing a $250 million dollar lawsuit over unwanted texts.

“After I ordered from Papa John’s, my telephone started beeping with text messages advertising pizza specials,” claims Erin Chutich, one of the plaintiffs.  “Papa John’s never asked permission to send me text message advertisements.”

The lawsuit claims that Papa John’s sent 500,000 unwanted text messages in 2010 via a service called OnTime4U.  Both Papa John’s and OnTime4U were named in the lawsuit.  The company ended its involvement with OnTime4U in April 2010 after a lawsuit was filed; at that time, the company sent a memo to franchisees and corporate stores telling them that unsolicited spam texts was likely illegal.  Papa John’s claims there is no merit to the lawsuit and maintains the problem was caused by third-party vendors and a few franchisees.

I guess being sued better than having your franchise burned down by Domino’s, but not by much.  The damages being sought by the plaintiffs turns out to be about $500 per text message.

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