A POSTSCRIPT TO:
THE TOP TEN MOST CENSORED PRESS RELEASES OF 1998
A few weeks ago, as part of our award-winning TOP TEN CENSORED PRESS RELEASES OF 1998 series, we reprinted a December 28, 1998, press release from Domino’s Pizza entitled “THE YEAR IN PIZZA: A Look at 1998 through Domino’s Pizza Sales.”
From the press release — which was apparently too “hot” to be carried by any of the so-called “news” organizations — we learned that social and political events, at home and abroad, often influence American pizza-buying.
From the press release we found, for instance, that “all those touchdowns make people hungry. While the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers on Super Bowl Sunday, January 25, Domino’s Pizza sales nearly doubled.”
We learned that “Thirty-six years after his historic flight as the first American to orbit the earth, John Glenn returned to space on October 29. Millions of people around the world watched, pizza in hand, resulting in an 11.4 percent increase in sales compared to a normal day for Domino’s Pizza.”
But we wanted to know more. We wanted to know the following:
On May 14, the day that Frank Sinatra, a known Italian, died, did Americans eat more pizza, or less?
On August 7, the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were bombed. Did this make Americans crave more pizzas, or fewer?
On October 17, when Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London, how did this affect American pizza buying? Specifically, how did it affect the buying of Domino’s brand pizzas?
On October 23, when Buffalo abortion doctor Barnett Slepian was murdered, did Domino’s sales rise, or fall?
Newt Gingrich stepped down from his post as the Speaker of the House of Representatives at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 6. Did this make us hungry? For pizza?
Not to mention:
On November 22, when Dr. Jack Kevorkian put a patient to death on television, what happened to pizza sales? Specifically, sales of Domino’s brand pizza?
We called Cozette Pfifer, a press relations representative at Domino’s, on January 23. We said: “We were interested in your press release of December 28, and would like to know about the pizza sales pertaining to many other dates.” We said we were a freelance writer in New York, but that we were not sure into which media outlet we would be “placing” this article. Regardless, approximately 28 hours later, an associate of Ms. Pfifer, Terri Roberts at Vorhaus Public Relations, called us back. She had the figures. (* Some * people care about the free flow of information.)
We present them here, to you:
+ The death of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra, on May 14 whetted our appetite for another Italian-American specialty. Sales for Domino’s bubbled up 12.1 percent over normal Thursdays. Sinatra is a known Italian.
+ Americans lose their appetite when it comes to international terrorism. Weekday sales dipped 6 percent on August 7, when the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were bombed. We had another bad day two weeks later, on August 20, when U.S. forces retaliated against Khartoum; Domino’s sales wilted 2 percent off the norm.
+ Augusto Pinochet’s arrest in London made us feel conflicted, as Spain imposed its law, perhaps not quite legally, upon the deposed dictator from Santiago. While we gave the matter some thought on that day, October 17, we phoned Domino’s –- and sales shot up 5.8 percent over those of a typical Saturday.
+ When abortion doctor Barnett Slepian was murdered in Buffalo, Domino’s suffered too. The pizza marketer, whose owner, Tom Moneghan is a pro-life backer, saw its revenues on October 23 slump 3.2 percent over a normal Friday’s sales.
+ When Newt Gingrich stepped down from his post as the Speaker of the House of Representatives at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 6, most Americans let life go on as normal. Over at Domino’s, pizza sales never even flinched.
+ On November 22, when CBS’s 60 Minutes showed a tape of assisted-suicide activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian helping a patient die on a national broadcast, Domino’s sales came to life — a 6 percent increase over the average Sunday.
These are things we know today that we didn’t know yesterday, much less last year, when the news was still hot. For that, we owe our thanks to Domino’s Pizza, and to two people who tracked down the information we craved, information that they too knew was important information, information that should not be censored: Cozette Pfifer at Domino’s and Terri Roberts at Vorhaus Public Relations in New York City.
And no thanks, of course, to the so-called “news media.”
(Note: The Top Ten Most Censored Press Releases series will continue next week. Or maybe sooner. Hard to tell.