Hell Pizza is a New Zealand-based pizza chain. Hell began in New Zealand in 1996 next to Victoria University, and has expanded within New Zealand and to the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada, Korea and India.
Hell Pizza is owned by Callum Davies and Stuart McMullin. In 2006, Hell sold the New Zealand Master Franchise rights to Tasman Pacific Foods (the NZ master franchisee for Burger King) for NZ$15,000,000. The NZ Master Franchise rights were purchased back from Tasman Pacific Foods in 2009. In August 2011, founder Warren Powell left Hell Pizza New Zealand and in July 2014, he left Hell Pizza International. There are 64 Hell stores nationwide in New Zealand, Australia has a store in South-east Queensland and Canada has one store in North Vancouver.
The Hell theme is used in the menu. Seven standard pizzas are named after the seven deadly sins.
The company is notable for its offensive advertising and for being the first company in New Zealand to offer online pizza ordering, in 1996. They sponsored a segment on the television show Pulp Sport.
A radio advertisement that featured a humorous conversation about Hell attracted one complaint in New Zealand. The Advertising Standards Authority ASA did not uphold the complaint since "it did not reach the threshold to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence".
Hell Pizza used the expression "sell your soul" in mass advertising in 2013 in New Zealand. It received one complaint to the ASA that "This flippant attitude towards something that many New Zealand citizens ... believed to be significant and consequential..." The ASA ruled that there were no grounds to proceed, since "sell your soul" is a common saying and recognised as dark and satirical. Hell also purchased the soul of a 24-year-old Wanganui man for $5001, after the online auction website Trademe withdrew his attempt to sell it there.
In November 2008, while under management from Tasman Foods, Hell Pizza New Zealand apologised for an advertisement featuring skeletal remains of Sir Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger, and the Queen Mother, dancing on gravestones. The apology was to Hillary's family, which complained the ad was in "extremely poor taste". The ad was withdrawn from the company website on 3 November.
In 2012, Hell Pizza marketed 'Pizza Roulette', in which one unidentified slice of a pizza is doused with chili. Marketing called it the "hottest chili known to mankind".
In April 2014 Hell Pizza released rabbit flavoured pizza for Easter and advertised it in New Zealand on billboards covered in rabbit pelts. The billboard has received both criticism and praise; the New Zealand Vegetarian Society criticised the billboard.
In 2009, Hell Pizza owner Warren Powell verbally pledged to pay all proceeds from a Hell takeaway van at the Big Night In Telethon to the charity KidsCan, amounting to about NZ$10,000. Julie Nelson, chief executive of the charity, said "after seeing reports that some of the money raised was failing to reach needy children, Powell reneged on the deal." On 14 August 2011, the Hell Pizza Facebook page stated "We can confirm that we have now contributed $10,000 to the KidsCan Charitable Trust."
In July 2010, after hackers attacked the Hell Pizza customer database, 230,000 customers were advised to change their passwords.
On 31 October 2006 Hell announced through a press release it would be promoting its "Lust" pizza by distributing 170,000 branded condoms. The Family First Lobby said Hell has "crossed the line of what is decent and acceptable advertising material to be put in letterboxes of families". It was later revealed that the condoms failed to comply with New Zealand labelling and packaging requirements, and remaining stocks were destroyed.