A pizza war is cooking, but it's not between two restaurant behemoths.
Domino's and the much smaller Toppers Pizza are squaring off after the pizza giant learned that Toppers plans to run a series of ads using its logo.
During a store opening in Duluth, Minnesota, Toppers revealed its upcoming marketing campaign called "Us vs. Them." The ad in question features a photo that a Toppers staff member took of a Domino's truck delivering dough to one of its stores next to a picture of a Toppers employee carrying a large bag of flour. It is to be distributed in July across all of Toppers' media platforms.
Toppers aims to showcase that its dough is made fresh in-house every day while Domino's dough is shipped in pre-made.
A customer snapped a photo of the ad and sent it to Domino's. A few days later, Toppers received a cease-and-desist order from the company.
"It has recently been brought to our attention that your company's marketing strategies include advertisement that defames our brand and incorporates our registered trademark," Dawn Bushart, a member of Domino's legal department, wrote in the letter, obtained by CNBC.
"The use of the Domino's logo in this fashion is damaging to our brand, unlawful, and an infringement of our federally registered trademark," Bushart wrote.