Papa John’s New ‘Voices’ Campaign Is a Pointed Response to Disgraced Founder’s Racist Remarks

Papa Johns pizza
Papa Johns pizza Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Papa John’s is doing its best to put the scandal surrounding its founder, John Schnatter, in the past.

The mired pizza chain debuted a new ad on Tuesday, September 18, called “Voices of Papa John’s.” Though the 1-minute spot, which cuts between several different employees of the international pizza restaurant, makes no direct mention of Schnatter, it’s clear the fast-food company is trying to distance itself from the disgraced entrepreneur.

“You’ve heard one voice of Papa John’s for a long time. It’s time you heard from all of us,” the commercial begins. The ad then features a look at two dozen ethnically diverse Papa John’s workers ranging from Sameer, a franchise owner in Texas, to Rehana, an operations director from Canada.

Schnatter resigned as chairman of the Papa John’s board in July after admitting he used the N-word during a conference call with his company’s executives two months prior. However, he later called his resignation a “mistake.”

Papa John's Pizza founder, John Schnatter
Papa John’s Pizza founder, John Schnatter Rick Diamond/Getty Images

While customers have long associated Schnatter with the company he founded in 1984, this commercial, which features 24 Papa John’s employees who volunteered to appear in the ad, aims to change that. Instead, this commercial spotlights the voices and faces that make up the 120,000 strong Papa John’s family.

Per Papa John’s website, the spot, which was directed by Ramaa Mosley, “features the real faces and voices behind our pizza box.”

“We want to personally invite you to our Papa John’s; every single one of you,” a group of employees declare in the ad. “From now on, you’ll hear more of our voices, because we believe we are better together – all of us and all of you.”

Tell Us: Do you think this commercial will help restore Papa John’s image?

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