Domino's Pizza's has shady deals at other UK universities?

Intelek Int'l By Intelek Int'l, 22nd Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

Report on my own research into Domino's Pizza's dealings with UK universities

Domino's dominating university fast-food trade?

The owner of the UK’s largest Domino’s Pizza franchise, millionaire Surinder Kandola’s of DPGS Ltd may have struck the same kind of dodgy deal that he has with the Union of UEA students with other UK university student bodies.
Domino’s has adverts on the home pages of a number of other student unions’ web sites, including those of the Leeds Metropolitan University student union and the Edinburgh University Student Association’s.
And these are the same kind of prominent, pricey advertising that Domino’s enjoys on the UEA (University of East Anglia) student union’s website.
In a surprise development, on Thursday, September 18th, I spoke to a UEA student union employee who very generously volunteered the information that this kind of exclusive advertising – allowing no competing brands to share that space – is “very lucrative”!
I was a taken aback at his openness because when I had previously tried to get details about the DPGS-UEA Student Union deal – both as a non-student (journalist) and a student of the UEA, when I enrolled last year to do a Masters’ in Creative Entrepreneurship - I was rebuffed.
On both occasions, in both capacities, I came up against a brick wall, as the Union’s Communication Officer Matthew Myles refused to tell me anything.
Myles was apologetic, but firm, referring me to Domino’s. However, I suspect he knew that they were unlikely to tell me anything. I had told him that I had been fired from the company.
The chap I spoke to on Thursday, is coordinating the upcoming freshers’ fair at the UEA. So he was talking about advertising at that event, not on the Union’s website.
I had called to inquire about setting up a booth at the fair, to promote the Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project. I did not expect to be told about the Domino’s deal at all.
My source said that Domino’s has paid handsomely for the privilege of being the only pizza promoting business at the freshers’ fair, an important, university-experience-prefacing event.
And I suppose it makes sense from a purely commercial standpoint, to have Domino’s dominance at the fair reflected on the website. The question is, did the company have to pay extra for the union website ad, or did the union do a “two-for-one” deal?
More pertinently, I wonder how much the Domino’s deal with the students’ union feeds into the overall student experience at the UEA?
After all, that university was listed as number 1 or 2, for student experience and/or satisfaction in the most recent research (the information is a bit confusing, so I’ll come back to that later, after further investigation.)
And I know a number of UEA students who have worked at the Norwich branch o Domino’s during my time there. Maybe they just didn’t see themselves as “internal customers” of that firm.
Maybe, the academic environment in which they were immersed while on campus did not facilitate the kind of connection or integration with their Domino’s Pizza employee roles that might have alerted them to the possibilities for creative application of what they were studying at work.
And maybe that kind of “disconnect” is what one Pilipino manager had in mind when he told me that I should not expect stuff like a written contract or regular hours from the company because it does not offer a “real job”.
The funny thing is, that from my vantage point, the profits the millionaire “internal customer” Mr Kandola and others were making through my and other colleagues efforts seemed real enough.
But it is not my purpose here to explore questions of the division of labour or the legitimate or other claims of capital upon what its intercourse with labour may produce.
Such ideological inquiry is beyond the scope of this article.
I’m more concerned with question like whether or not the kind of cushy, “monopolistic” advertising deals Domino’s appears to have struck with UEA, Leeds Metropolitan and other UK university student unions , is pursued by the company in other jurisdictions - like the United States, where the Domino’s originated, and from whence it is still run by Bain Capital.
MP Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State in the Department of Health - and maybe his counterpart in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, too - should look into that.
Mr Hunt was asked to look into Domino’s university deals by my local MP Simon Wright, who I alerted to DPGS Ltd’s questionable corporate conduct.
He, Mr Hunt and their Parliamentary colleagues and government departments are certainly better resourced and placed than I am to address and research questions of Domino’s dealings in comparable jurisdictions.
As is the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to address the question of if DPGS-Domino’s or the UEA student union is acting in violation of any regulations guarding students from the kind of media monopolization and manipulation that their “shady deal” may amount to or facilitate.
Ofcom is, after all, as its website states, the “Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries .”



Dominos Pizza, Intelek International, Jeremy Hunt Mp, Junior Campbell, Surinder Kandola

Meet the author

author avatar Intelek Int'l
"I think therefore I jam"
I'm a holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International (
I write about spirituality, science, philosophy, politics, love.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
20th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks for sharing this article.

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author avatar Intelek Int'l
3rd Nov 2014 (#)

Thanks for commenting Nancy.

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