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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:21 PM

Papa John’s Blames The Media For Obamacare Blunder – Requests They Take Stories Down [View all]


Papa John’s Blames The Media For Obamacare Blunder – Requests They Take Stories Down
By Lorraine Devon Wilke

When to leave well-enough alone might just elude Papa John’s and its notorious CEO, John Schnatter.

It seems that even after the major public relations fail of loudly protesting the Obamacare ruling and making a scene about cutting hours and raising prices to accommodate it, the big guy who’s happy enough to give away 2 million free pizzas to Super Bowl fans despite all this financial constraint, has now sicced his “people” on journalists who covered the story.

Oh, yes. If you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, you can at least try to get the tube shoved under the rug. Or, that appears to be the thinking of Mr. Schnatter and his new PR dogs, a firm called Sitrick. According to a breaking story in the Stabley Times, Sitrick has come after them to take down a story they reported on a CNN investigative report on Papa John’s claim that he’d have to raise the price of pizza because of Obamacare. Did you get that? Papa John’s PR stooges asked Stabley Times to take down their story on CNN. Wow, huh?


In reference to why Papa John’s would come after a publication like ours for simply relaying something that CNN had reported about the pizza chain, the PR firm claims that it “somehow missed the CNN story about which you wrote.” This despite the fact that CNN first aired the clip in August of last year, and has since become the most often cited proof that Schnatter’s claims of increased costs were dishonest…

In the interest of fairness, Papa John’s representative offered this as its reasoning for why our coverage of the matter should be unpublished, which we’ll share here: “What {Schnatter} said, in response to an investor call, was the company estimated that Obamacare would result in an increased cost to the company of approximately 11 cents to 14 cents per pizza, ‘but our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare, ergo, we have a high ticket average with extremely high frequency of order counts, millions of pizzas per year.’” The pizza chain appears to be attempting to split hairs as to whether Schnatter claimed he would actually raise prices as a result of ObamaCare, or whether he would simply see his own costs rise and absorb the cost. But the research done by CNN makes clear that ObamaCare will not cause Papa John’s to see a cost increase of any kind, which means that in either case Schnatter’s claim is a false one…



Personally, if I were a shareholder or on the board of directors of Papa John’s I’d be talking about a coup. Since I’m not, what I will do is – you got it – write another story about the sheer stupidity, myopic thinking, and even slightly mob-like tactic of pressuring journalists to take down coverage. I’m wondering, what will they do to journalists who DON’T take down their content? Clearly Stabley Times isn’t. We here at Addicting Info certainly won’t…in fact, see…we’re writing more!

But I wonder if we’ll find a horse’s head in the parking lot any time soon.

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