In its first social media ad campaign since Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was ousted from the company, the pizza maker shows actual customer tweets over Schnatter’s racist remarks from earlier this year.
Papa John’s made many headlines this summer after it was revealed that Schnatter had said the “N” word during a conference call.
Though he defended why he said it, Schnatter had stated during the time, “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” he said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
In the new social media ad campaign, which was added to Facebook and Twitter, actual customer tweets call out Papa John’s over Schnatter’s remarks and demand Papa John’s change its policies if it wants their business back.
“You expected better from Papa John’s,” says the video. “So did we.”
“Right now, we’re reviewing our culture from top to bottom and meeting with our communities to learn how we can be better,” the company tweeted. “We fully intend to earn back your trust through action.”
Schnatter’s spokesman Terry Fahn has said the company’s new ad is misleading and stated, “The video produced by the company represents another example of the company attempting to hide the true facts. It omits the avalanche of comments made by customers, employees and others who support John Schnatter and feel that the company is wrong.”
According to Fahn, Schnatter is concerned that the company is acting “improperly.”
In July, Schnatter said in an interview on Louisville radio station WHAS, that he was pressured to use the N-word during the conference call.
“The agency was promoting that vocabulary … They pushed me. And it upset me. It’s caused a lot of grief for my community, for my university,” Schnatter noted. “My employees are distraught, they’re crushed, and it’s all because I was sloppy and I wasn’t as sensitive.”
Additionally, Papa John’s CEO Steve Ritchie wrote a letter to customers about his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ritchie and other Papa John’s executives had visited several cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit, to meet with franchisees and employees to determine what they could be doing better for its people and its brand.