Tongue-in-cheek ads gain Florida operator national attention

March 24, 2002

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Freddie Wehbe is proving that price gouging pays.

A franchisee of five Domino's Pizza stores in Gainesville, Fla., home of the University of Florida Gators, Wehbe recently advertised a discriminatory pizza deal in the Gator Times student newspaper. Contained in the ads were coupons bearing one price for Gators fans, and another with jacked-up fees for fans of their gridiron opponents.

On one weekend, a large, one-topping pizza cost Gators fans $6.77. But for Florida State fans, the price was $29.99. On the following weekend, fans of the University of Tennessee were charged $39.99.

As it turned out, fans of both schools paid Wehbe's prices.

"I think they did it out of pride," said Wehbe, whose store near the Florida campus is the highest-volume store in the Domino's chain. "One group (of Tennessee fans) pulled up in an RV, and we told them that this was their price, and they paid it.

"We had about a dozen Florida State fans pay their price, too."

So outrageous was Wehbe's price gouging gesture that it caught the attention of two ESPN "GameDay" on-air personalities. The ads were read aloud on the Saturday morning pre-game show, giving Wehbe exposure he'd never expected.

"That's not bad, having your ads talked about on national TV," said Wehbe, adding that two talk radio stations in Gainesville mentioned the ads as well. "I like to do fun things like that because it gets people's attention. Isn't that what advertising's all about?"

Topics: Marketing

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