Weirdoughs Custom Pizzeria offers a unique menu with affordable, good quality, pizzas and salads, and overall positive reviews.
Onward State, a student-run Penn State blog, released an opinionated, critical article "Diving into Weirdoughs Weirdest Instagram Posts" on February 10th.
The article appeared to be deleted for a few days once Weirdoughs released their response statement via Instagram posts @weirdoughscustompizzeria.
According to an anonymous student, Onward State's articles tend to be pretty critical, so they don't find it surprising that they took this same approach for another article.
Now back online, Onward State's article in summary, appears to have screenshots directly from the Weirdoughs Instagram page, which criticize Weirdoughs' marketing technique. For reference, Weirdoughs uploads a variety of posts such as popular memes and trends, which do appear to have sexual connotations, but they are not malicious nor offensive. Rather, they are humorous and target a sense of humor that resonates with a large population of State College -- college students.
The use of these memes and language appears to be strategic in the way that college students can relate. A lot of their posts relate to the Penn State community and are even humorous.
Weirdoughs also released a promo code a few days ago called "STOPTHEHATEONWARDSTATE," which was pretty clever from a marketing standpoint.
Comparatively, companies like Barstool Sports used the same tactic during drama with their podcast Call Her Daddy.
Onward State accused Weirdoughs of using an Onward State graphic without permission. However, looking at the Instagram post in question, Weirdoughs did give Onward State credit for this usage, so not seeing the issue here. Also, according to the US copyright gov. website, without a copyright on one's work, there are no protections.
Onward State article also mentions and criticizes Weirdoughs contest for their sexiest Halloween costume. Included in the article were screenshots of these students. Onward State uses the term "slut shaming." This term was NEVER used by Weirdoughs, which makes the only name-calling done by Onward State.
Unfortunately, Onward State also failed to ask these student contest winners for permission in uploading these pictures of them to their article, while Weirdoughs did have that permission. Students entered at their own will and sent in those pictures via Direct Message to Weirdoughs. While speaking with one of these students who was featured for this contest, they mention that Weirdoughs was nice and gave them gift cards for winning and they did not take any offense to the competition. Overall, they entered the competition willingly and submitted their picture WILLINGLY. So, really no harm done.
Overall, Onward State uses terms such as "creepy," "slut-shaming" and "sex obsession." These terms should never be used lightly as they can lead to serious allegations. Onward State -- if you are so offended by these posts, just unfollow the account. Not all marketing efforts will appeal to everyone. However, in speaking with many students, they have expressed that Weirdoughs' posts are funny, relatable, and entertaining. They do not find them "creepy."