(McSweeney’s, being concerned with the limitless, unadulterated flow of information — unless it’s the kind of information that might upset people — has recently noticed an extremely unsettling problem, a problem even more unsettling in these times of so-called “prosperity,” and “freedom of speech.” The problem is disturbingly simple: every year, many, many, many worthy press releases are being ignored. They are going under-reprinted, under-blurbed, under-bullet-pointed and underused as foundation for spunky lifestyle section featurettes by the nation’s supposedly free media outlets.
We ask: why? Why must this be? What are all these fatcat editors and journalists doing, if not cribbing stories from the PR wire? Where are they getting their holier-than-thou ideas, if not from the interesting, fact-filled stories about the very companies who pay the salaries of many of the people who read the same newspapers and magazines for which these fatcats work? As the philosopher says: Makes you wonder. Oooh, and it makes you wonder.
In response, McSweeney’s has created this, an annual survey of the year’s most ignored PR missives, titled, as noted above, THE TOP TEN CENSORED PRESS RELEASES OF 1998. On an occasional sort of basis, we will reprint these press releases, unabridged and unedited. Read them — if you care about America, and freedom, and your children, who of course are the future, that is.)
NO. 10 Most Censored Press Release of 1998
THE YEAR IN PIZZA
A Look at 1998 through Domino’s Pizza Sales
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/— Now, here’s a way to interpret 1998: Measure the year in pizzas! In 1998, Domino’s sold 338 million pizzas with sales mirroring the historic highs and lows of the year.
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.
Oh, to look svelte in that dress on Oscar night. That’s what the stars want— and the rest of the country may feel the same way, reaching for carrots and celery. Domino’s Pizza’s sales held steady the night of the Oscars on March 23 when Titanic snagged Best Picture.
Savor this tasty statistic because we might not have a comparison for 1999: The night of the NBA Finals, June 14, when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz to win their sixth title, Americans ate 18% more Domino’s pizzas.
Pizza sales linked to the Dow? That’s why Domino’s Pizza sales were up nearly 4% on August 31, the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its lowest point of the year. Conversely, on November 23, when the Dow Jones hit its high mark, Americans celebrated by not eating pizza— Domino’s pizza sales were only up .49%.
As President Clinton confessed to the world on August 17, political insiders and all Americans reached for the phone. Domino’s Pizza orders that day were up by 23,000 pies.
On September 1, millions of people went to the video store and then watched at home while “Titanic” sank. That evening, the number of pizzas sold at Domino’s rose 27% over a normal night.
While Hurricane Georges tore through the Dominican Republic on September 22, people in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean reeled from the destruction, and those in Haiti and the U.S. feared what was yet to come, illustrated by Domino’s Pizza’s 9% decrease in pizzas sold that day.
Swinging for the last time this season, at 3:19 p.m. CDT on September 27, Mark McGwire set baseball’s single season home run record with number 70. In the spirit of baseball, many Americans may have opted for hot dogs and apple pie, as Domino’s Pizza sold only 1.6% more pizzas than usual.
On October 22, the New York Yankees finished one of the best seasons in sports history, completing their four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres, and claiming their 24th World Series title. As the world shared in the Yankees’ joy, Domino’s Pizza sales dropped by over 2%. Maybe fans were too nervous to eat.
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% increase in sales compared to a normal day for Domino’s Pizza.
Ghouls, ghosts and goblins must eat a lot of pizza. Halloween, October 31, proved to be one of Domino’s busiest days of the year, delivering more than 1.2 million pizzas across the country.
As families around the country prepared for Thanksgiving, Domino’s Pizza sales increased nearly 50% on November 25, Thanksgiving eve. Just an average Saturday night. In the midst of impeachment and military action on December 19, Americans kept to their old habits, eating just more than the Saturday average of one million Domino’s pizzas.
Domino’s Pizza, Inc. was founded in 1960 and is recognized as the world leader in pizza delivery. In 1997 sales reached $3.2 billion, making it Domino’s fifth consecutive year of increased sales. Domino’s Pizza, with more than 1,700 franchisees, operates more than 6,100 stores throughout the United States and in 64 international markets.