New Zealand Pizza Chain Covers Billboard in Rabbit Pelts

In Depth

Holy ballsacks. Yes, those are real rabbit pelts. Nope, I’m not joking — this is actually happening right now.

Wellington, New Zealand’s Hell Pizza (I mean, the name does go some way to explaining their ideas for brand promotion) apparently has decided to advertise their new Rabbit Pizza with a billboard covered in — their words — “hundreds” of rabbit pelts obtained from a professional tannery. I hadn’t realized that Stephen King’s career had declined to the point where he’d become an ad-man for New Zealand pizzerias. I mean, I’m kind of the diametric opposite of a vegetarian, but shit, this is off-putting even to me. The billboard even says “Made from real rabbit. Just like this billboard.” If nothing else, that’s one of the more epic trolls in recent memory.

The thing is, in Australia and New Zealand, rabbits are not viewed through the same lens as they are in the United States. Apparently, New Zealand has somewhat of a rabbit problem — shocking considering that the introduction of a foreign species into a carefully-balanced ecosystem usually works out so well. The American equivalent would be if a company decided to cover a billboard in rat pelts — which would definitely be weird, but would almost certainly elicit a different response than a rabbit pelt billboard planted squarely on the New Jersey turnpike. In fact, Hell Pizza responded to the (frankly unsurprising) outpouring of international criticism by posting the following on their Facebook page:

“As well as being a delicious meat, and even quite cute, rabbits are unfortunately also a noted pest that is damaging to the New Zealand environment, particularly in the South Island,” the pizzeria noted.

I’m kind of impressed by the utter not-giving-a-fuckery of the fact that they snuck in an “oh yeah, they’re TOTES adorbz” in between “they’re delicious” and “they are filthy vermin destroying our ecosystem.” As criticism mounts, the company has doubled down, and honestly, this is just getting more and more entertaining.

Man, New Zealand, I really thought you were just Australia’s Canada: the boring math nerd with a spotless academic record and a clear, attainable life plan to your neighbor’s binge-drinking, whole-burrito-swallowing, teenage-sex-having Captain of the football team — the equivalent to which in Australia would I guess be…uh…Didgeridoo Wrestling? Is…is that a thing? Kangaroo Boxing? Not Getting Killed By Every Single Living Creature on the Australian Continent? Let me now when I’m getting warm here. Anyway, you’ve really shown me something today.

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