A Slice of Sensitivity

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


With over 1,100 stores around the globe, you’d think Domino’s Pizza International would know a thing or two about Establishing An International Presence. They boast of a “Master Franchise Agreement” that “eliminates many cultural challenges of overseas development,” and tout their ability to accomodate such significant “cultural differences” as “delivery vehicles, store design, and pizza topping selections.” [Fun fact!: The top topping in Guatemala is Black Bean Sauce!]

When you’re so busy figuring out that guava is the most popular topping in Columbia, and organizing all those bicycle delivery drivers in the Netherlands, who has time to screen advertising for offensive racial caricatures? Gary McCausland, managing director of Domino’s international subsidiary, explains the difficulties in the following letter to Conteh Davis of Direct Action for Rights and Equality: August 20, 1996

Dear Mr. Davis,

…I would like to express my sincere apologies and confirm that it is not the policy of Domino’s Pizza to promote and/or endorse any such advertisement material. I further confirm that our agreements and documentation are very specific with respect to advertising promotions which are appropriate within the Domino’s Pizza family.

Approximately one and a half years ago, we were informed of this advertised material and contacted our Franchisee in Guatemala and expressed our extreme disappointment and have requested and received confirmation that such a campaign is offensive and inappropriate. We have further received confirmation that this campaign was immediately ceased at that time. In order to assure that there is no miscommunication, we will be dispatching one of our Senior Operations Directors to Guatemala to review with our Franchisee the parameters for appropriate advertising material, and to confirm, once again, our advertising politics.

I would like to thank you for kindly pointing out to us that this program was in existence. I cannot express to you my sincere regret and disappointment that this has taken place. I can assure you that Domino’s Pizza will do everything necessary to ensure that this does not happen again.

Kind Regards,

Gary McCausland
Managing Director

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest