Pizza Hut name switch lambasted as 'puerile'

LONDON - Pizza Hut's plan to temporarily change the name of some of its restaurants to Pasta Hut has been roundly condemned by branding experts.

Pasta Hut
Pasta Hut

The switch, announced by Pizza Hut this week, is intended to flag up its revamped pasta menu, supported by an ad campaign created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. It is likely, however, that the Pizza Hut name will be reinstated at the 30 outlets after the year-long drive.

Jim Prior, managing director of branding agency The Partners, described the tactic as 'boring'. 'It is a bit of a puerile idea; the sort of thing the chair-man's wife comes up with at Sunday lunch,' he said. 'It is na•ve, too; it is hardly as though the change is from something unexciting to something that is more exciting.'

Vanessa Cohen, partner at branding consultancy Prophet, said the change would garner press coverage, but added: 'I find it hard to believe it won't cause confusion and dilute the strength of the brand.'

Pizza Hut's marketing director, Claudia Nicholls-Magielsen, said the change was designed to alter people's perceptions of the brand, and denied it was an attempt to target health-conscious consumers.

Feedback from the forums:

It seems like a good idea. People will really notice a name change, and it fits the existing brand. David Parish

I imagine Pizza Hut hopes to gain publicity, then bring the name back 'by popular demand'. Matt Saunders

I work at Pizza Hut, and I agree with a lot of the comments here; the brand is really confused at the moment. Shib Hussain


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