As reported yesterday, beleaguered pizza chain Papa John’s finally has some good news to share. This bucks a trend that began last summer when company founder John Schnatter stepped down after it was reported that he used a racial slur on a business phone call. Now, activist hedge fund (and former Olive Garden investor) Starboard Value LP has announced a $200 million investment in Papa John’s, and will be adding some members to its board, including Jeffrey E. Smith as new board chair.
As Bloomberg reports, Smith said in an interview about his new professional challenge: “I will tell you that this is not going to be a quick fix… We are going to be doing the right things for the company for the long term. There’s no short cut.” Those efforts will include a new advertising and marketing campaign within the next month or so.
And those ads will center on a familiar message: Papa John’s tagline of “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza.” Bloomberg notes that the brand announced that it had “eliminated artificial flavors and fake colors from all of its food” in 2016. Unfortunately, the former deliverer of the tagline in previous ads was Schnatter himself. No word yet on who PJ’s new spokesperson will be, but a replacement for Schnatter seems like a necessity for the company’s updated branding.