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Kanye West

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It is the year 2018 and officially nothing is surprising to us anymore — not even the thought of Kanye being an influencer for a major pizza restaurant chain.

According to Business Insider, advertising firm Laundry Service reportedly “strongly urged” founder John Schnatter to team up with West in television ads and other promotions in May. This was all in a letter to the board that the chain’s founder, John Schnatter sent out that was obtained by CNN and other media outlets in July.

The company’s executives said this week that they had been searching for ways to cut back on Schnatter’s role as the public face of the chain since he blamed Papa John’s sales slump on the NFL’s response to players’ protests during the national anthem.

“On the marketing front, the research and analysis we conducted after the NFL comments by our founder in November of 2017 have made it clear that we needed to move from a founder-centric marketing plan,” CEO Steve Ritchie said on a call with investors.

But Schatter apparently wasn’t with it — in a letter to the board, he told Laundry Service that West couldn’t be a Papa John’s spokesperson “because he uses the ‘N’ word in his lyrics.” This occurred literally days before news broke that Schnatter used the N’word on a conference call with the ad agency.

“Moving forward, these efforts will take into account what consumers, in particular, millennials and Gen Z consumers expect from a business, including their expectations that companies have an active role in making the world a better place,” Ritchie said on Tuesday.

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