Provel Cause

Feb 6, 2007 at 2:36 pm
Coverage of the arrest of Michael Devlin, the former Imo's Pizza manager charged with kidnapping and sodomy, has blanketed local airwaves for much of the year.

So, too, has an Imo's Pizza TV commercial in which an inmate breaks out of prison to get his hands on one of the pizzeria's thin-crust pies.

Now, after receiving a complaint about the spot's uncomfortable similarity to real life, the local chain has pulled it.

"Personally, I don't see a direct connection whatsoever," says Ed Musen, a partner with Creve Coeur communications company Musen & Steinbach, LLC, which produced the ad. "But now that this one person complained, we pulled the spot. Imo's is a family-owned business, and they don't want to offend anybody."

The commercial, entitled "Jailbreak," was produced two years ago and began its run in December, before the Devlin story broke, Musen says.

It replaced a spot featuring St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt, which will eventually return.

Effectively immediately, however, "Jailbreak" will give way to "Detroit," an ad in which a couple moves from St. Louis to the Motor City.

Explains Musen: "His wife asks him to go out and get a pizza and it takes him two days to get back."

-Ben Westhoff