Domino's is bailing from MTV's controversial Jersey Shore reality show.
The pizza chain has a rotational buy on MTV and its commercial happened to appear during the Dec. 3 premiere of Jersey Shore, which features eight Italian-American twentysomethings who spend their summer in a house on the Jersey Shore, partying, drinking and hooking up.
Domino's rep Tim McIntyre said the company didn't buy an ad on the show specifically, but its third-party media buyer, after reviewing the show, told MTV Friday morning that "the content wasn't right for Domino's."
"The request to keep our spots from future episodes took place in the morning, well before we received any complaints or inquiries from anyone," McIntyre said. "We have no issue with MTV, and we haven't pulled our advertising from the network. We just don't want to be on that particular show."
Domino's isn't the only one who has questioned the show's content. Several groups, including the The National Italian American Foundation, are offended by Jersey Shore and are calling the depictions of young Italian-Americans stereotypical. The show's stars refer to each other as "guido," for example, and most have nicknames like Paul "DJ Pauly D" and Mike "The Situation." They all come from different parts of New York and New Jersey, and one from Rhode Island.
"We find this program alarming in that it attempts to make a direct connection between 'guido culture' and Italian-American identity. 'Guido' is widely viewed as a pejorative term and reinforces negative stereotypes," said NIAF president Joseph V. Del Raso, in an e-mail.
An MTV rep said no advertiser has specifically pulled full sponsorship from the show. In the case of Domino's, the pizza chain had indicated that it didn't want its scheduled spots to run during Jersey Shore. "[The show] may not be for every sponsor or advertiser and we understand that," the rep said. "We try to provide a variety of environments for our advertisers and it's never a 'one size fits all' scenario with MTV."