- Pizza Hut
- Pizza Hut ran a commercial in 1999 mocking Hillary Clinton’s campaign to be New York’s senator.
- Clinton’s anticipated rival – then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – was backed by a billionaire member of Pizza Hut’s board, a fact that raised eyebrows among Democrats.
- To hear the full story, subscribe to Business Insider’s new podcast, “Household Name,” for free here.
Many people know that Donald Trump was in a Pizza Hut ad in the 1990s. However, most aren’t aware that an actress portraying Hillary Clinton also made an appearance in the chain’s marketing just a few years later.
In 1999, Pizza Hut ran an ad mocking Hillary Clinton’s then-rumored aspirations to be New York’s senator. In the ad, a blonde woman with a bizarre accent and wearing a pantsuit promotes the “Big New Yorker” pizza.
“How do I know so much about New York pizza?” the woman, standing at a podium in front of the New York City skyline, asks. “Because, New York, I want to be your next senator!”
“$9.99, what do they think this is? Arkansas?” a policeman leaning against the podium drawls in a thick New York accent.
While a Pizza Hut spokesperson insisted at the time that the ad was “tongue-in-cheek fun,” many Democrats were not laughing. Clinton was already raising money to run for Senate, despite criticism that she had only recently moved to the state.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s anticipated rival – then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – was backed by a member of Pizza Hut’s board. Billionaire Kenneth Langone and his wife had already donated $1,000 each to Giuliani’s Senate exploratory committee when the ad first ran in late 1999. Tricon Foods, then Pizza Hut’s parent company, had donated an additional $2,500.
Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s campaign press secretary, told the press that there may be a connection between the ad and Giuliani. Langone denied wrongdoing, as did Giuliani, who told the media: “I have no pizza connection.”
In the end, Giuliani didn’t end up running for the Senate seat, which Clinton won. As for Pizza Hut, it ran another ad for the Big New Yorker pizza starring Donald Trump – his second advertisement for the chain.
To learn more about Trump’s bizarre history with Pizza Hut, download this week’s episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Household Name.”
Here’s the Clinton-inspired ad:
And, here’s another ad for the same pizza, starring Donald Trump: