Hell comes a calling for Hanover boss

19:36, Nov 23 2009
Hell Pizza
TURN UP THE HEAT: A Hell Pizza mobile billboard depicting Mark Hotchin and their Greed pizza outside Hotchin's multi-million dollar house under construction in Auckland's Paratai Drive.

Hell Pizza have taken aim at Hanover bosses Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson with craftily positioned billboards headlined 'Greed'.

Hell Pizza is famous for its controversial shock advertising.

They have a portable billboard being driven around Auckland featuring head and shoulder photos of Watson and Hotchin next to the word "Greed".

Greed is the name of one of Hell's pizza topping options.

The cheeky billboard has even parked outside Hotchin's $30m house being built on Auckland's plush Paritai Drive.

Mr Hotchin told Stuff.co.nz: "I wouldn't have minded but I have tried their pizzas and I thought they were rubbish - even the kids wouldn't eat them. I prefer Pizza Hut."

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One of New Zealand's largest finance companies, Hanover revealed it was in serious financial difficulties in July 2008 and subsequently froze repayments on some $554 million of investors' money.

The billboard refers to the bad publicity surrounding the respective wealth of the company founders since Hanover announced its nearly 17,000 shareholders would be unlikely to see all their money returned.

Following a year-long moratorium, the announcement of a $102m loss and last week the news of another prospective finance deal to salvage just 78 cents in the dollar, shareholders are outraged at the money still being spent by Hanover's owners.

Hell Pizza's communications manager Matt Blomfield says the idea was struck up over a coffee between founders Warren Powell, Callum Davies and Stu McMullin to try and get some public discussion about the suffering of Hanover shareholders.

"We've been following the papers and the stories around Hanvoer and we think it's unfair that guys like Eric and Mark can have all this money and so many people can be experiencing hardship.

"We're not particularly making a stand one way or the other but what we're doing is putting something out there to get people talking.

"Time will tell whether these guys are greedy or not greedy but what we are saying is let's put it out there and see what people have got to say."

Hanover said it was considering legal action against Hell Pizza.

BusinessDay