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Ad by Toppers Pizza in Duluth leads to cease and desist from Domino's

The pizza wars are afoot in the Northland.

The above advertisement by a Toppers pizza franchise in Duluth has landed it in hot water with its rival, Domino's Pizza.

The national chain sent the Duluth Topper's owner Jordan DeCaro a cease and desist letter after it became the first store to use the new Toppers advertising campaign.

The ad depicts a Domino's truck, saying its dough is "dough fresh off the semi," and then contrasts it with a Toppers worker, next to whom it says "dough made fresh in-house daily."

"Not making dough in-house daily? What. The. Truck," the ad continues, before adding: "Never settle."

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Scott Gittrich, the CEO of Whitewater, Wisconsin-based Toppers hit out at Domino's in a blog posting titled: "Now I'm really pissed," arguing that the information contained in the ad is factual.

The letter sent by Domino's accuses Toppers of defamation as well as copyright infringement for featuring its logo in the ad.

"We hereby request that you immediately cease and desist all marketing and advertisements that use our registered trademark," it reads.

In response, Gittrich says: "Apparently they think we shouldn’t be able to tell people about the REAL things that we do differently. This is America! Tell the truth and let the people decide."

"Domino’s is a Wall Street darling, dough-made-in-a-factory, tech company that happens to make pizza, pizza place," he adds. "They should just be proud and own and embrace that."

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"Toppers is the made-from-scratch, made-with-love, locally owned and fighting the good fight pizza place; and we are going to own and embrace that."

Gittrich then goes on to say that his company has its own attorneys and stands by the ad, warning Domino's that they will "never settle."

The ad had been run in Duluth ahead of the grand opening of DeCaro's Toppers franchise on June 15. 

DeCaro told the Duluth News Tribune that his company "wanted to be aggressive with our new advertising," adding that Domino's is blessed with a multi-million dollar ad budget, so Toppers needed its advertising to "have an edge."

BMTN has reached out to Domino's for further comment.

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