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Hell Pizza's rabbit skin billboard grabs international attention

Published: 10:35AM Thursday April 17, 2014 Source: ONE News

Hell Pizza's controversial rabbit skin billboard sign (Source: Facebook/Hell Pizza)
Hell Pizza's controversial rabbit skin billboard sign - Source: Facebook/Hell Pizza

Hell Pizza is making headlines across the world for its controversial use of rabbit skins on its latest billboard for Easter.

The pizza company put the billboard up in Parnell on Friday to advertise their new Rabbit Pizza.

New York Daily News has labelled the sign, which is made of 550 rabbit skins, "provocative", while Time Magazine has dubbed it a "hare-raising stunt".

The controversial billboard has sparked debate on social media, with many taking to Twitter to vent their disgust.

One Twitter follower described the sign as "sick", calling the pizza company "psycho" for putting up the sign.

Others took to Hell Pizza's Facebook page, where Hell Pizza posted a picture of the sign, saying they will boycott the pizza place.

Hell Pizza's general manager, Ben Cumming, told Fairfax the billboard wasn't meant to offend anyone.

Rabbits are a pest in New Zealand and are encouraged to be hunted every year, he says.

"It is a by-product. That's the message we've been trying to get across. It's not like they have been farmed for the mere reason of creating a billboard," he says.

The picture on Hell Pizza's Facebook page has had over 500 comments and over 400 shares, which Mr Cumming says the company was not expecting.

"To be honest we were expecting some discussion and feedback, but were surprised with just how much feedback there has been," Mr Cumming told Fairfax.

"The purpose is always to make people smile and have some fun in our business. But we accept that with this strategy it's very difficult to have a 100% positive response."

Hell Pizza says the pelts were a by-product from meat processors.

However, Animal rights supporters have blasted the stunt as "a new low".

The rabbit pizza has almost sold out with 1800 pizzas being sold within two days.