Pizza Patrón, a pizza chain headquartered in Dallas, will be giving away a free large pepperoni pizza on Tuesday, June 5 from 5pm to 8pm. What is the catch? People will have to order the pizza in Spanish. It can be broken Spanish. It can be first-time Spanish. You can say “Quiero Pizza”, “Pizza por favor” or however you want but it has to be in Spanish.
What is the big deal? The promotion comes at a time when immigration reform is hot topic with many people. Critics of the promotion are coming from outside and within the Latino community.
“Maybe they thought it was a cute thing to do, but I think it’s discrimination,” says Marcela Gomez, president of Hispanic Marketing Group, a Latino marketing firm in Nashville. “As an advertising agency, I would never recommend this to my client.” Some believe Pizza Patrón is forcing people to speak another language.
The franchise is no stranger to controversy, in 2007 they did a promotion that it would start accepting (and still does) Mexican pesos. That drew international attention and some of their executives received some death threats.
Seriously, death threats because of pizza?
Andrew Gamm, brand director at Pizza Patrón claims that it’s trying to bond with its Latino community as its customer base is 70 percent is Spanish-speaking.
It seems a bit silly to make such a big deal about saying “Por favor” to get some free pizza.