Pizza Hut rethinks presidential debate stunt

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(AP photo)

NEW YORK (AP) – Hold the sausage, and hold the pepperoni. Pizza Hut is rethinking its contest in which it dared people to ask the presidential candidates, “Sausage or Pepperoni?”

The pizza delivery chain had offered a prize — a pizza a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 — to anyone who posed the question tomorrow at the town-hall-style debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Pizza Hut became the target of criticism for injecting itself into the political process. Stephen Colbert asked, “What could be more American than using our electoral process for product placement?” The blog Gawker said people were being encouraged to “make a mockery of the American democratic system.”

The company says it will still honor the prize if someone poses the question at the debate. But it’s now encouraging people to take part in a new online version, where contestants have to enter their email addresses and zip codes to be eligible.

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