Laundry Service Calls Founder of Papa John’s Extortion Claims ‘Completely False’ in Memo

An unnamed executive from Papa John’s now former ad agency Laundry Service today sent a memo to all employees calling recent claims by the brand’s founder John Schnatter “completely false.”

papajohns_laundryserviceIn the memo, which Adweek acquired, this individual also advises employees to avoid talking to the press or discussing client business with anyone outside the parent company, Laundry Service or its production division Cycle.

Last Monday, Adweek broke the news that Laundry Service had parted with CEO Jason Stein and approximately 60 employees due to “client attrition.” The following morning, Forbes reported that the agency had resigned the account following a May strategy call in which Schnatter used the N-word and made other racially insensitive statements.

Schnatter subsequently resigned as chairman of the pizza chain.

On Friday, Schnatter claimed in interviews with local TV and radio stations near the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Ky., that unnamed Laundry Service employees had “pressured” him into the conversation and attempted to “extort” his company for $6 million before leaking news of the call to Forbes.

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