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Nunzio’s Sues Little Caesar’s Over TV Commercial

July 31, 1993

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Nunzio, the bad Italian cook who makes people sick in TV ads for Little Caesar’s Pizza, is cooking up more trouble than the company bargained for.

Nunzio’s Pizza of Albuquerque sued Little Caesar’s, claiming business plummeted because the character shares its name.

″They have falsely misrepresented Nunzio’s ... with that elderly gentleman in the commercial preparing Italian food and making everybody throw up,″ said Ed Hollington, attorney for Nunzio’s, whose six stores are all in Albuquerque.

Little Caesar’s has agreed to pull the ads, which began airing nationwide earlier this month, but Nunzio is pressing its lawsuit to try to recoup unspecified damages, Hollington said. Nunzio’s sued Thursday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, claiming trademark infringement and misrepresentation.

Doug Seegmiller, an attorney for Michigan-based Little Caesar’s, said the character does not refer to the restaurants. He said Nunzio is a common Italian name and that the ad merely parodies bad, home-cooked Italian meals.

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