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Totino's ads focus on pot smokers

Posted: 1:57 PM, Apr 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-14 15:57:11-04

This Saturday, tens of thousands will gather in the Mile High City for the annual 4/20 celebration and one company is hoping to capitalize on that crowd.

Pizza roll maker, Totino’s, has rolled out a series of ads on billboards, at bus stops and on light rail trains in an effort to make sure those who get the munchies know how to satisfy their cravings.

"It's funny,” said one man. “It's clever marketing."

One of the imaginative ads reads, "Stock Up B4/20."

Another says, “Better When Baked.”

“I think that people would say, 'if they're baked that they probably are better, just like everything,' so I’ve been told," said another man.

While Totino's is riding high from the publicity, not everyone is amused.

"It does sort of proliferate the stereotype of, ‘Oh, you're stoned, therefore you're eating pizza rolls,’" said Joe Hodas, chief marketing officer with Denver-based Dixie Brands, which specializes in pot edibles, elixirs, even dog food additives.

Hodas points out the double-standard.

"A little bit of hypocrisy, in the sense that - you now have a mainstream brand, like Totino's, that can leverage cannabis as a way to market to consumers, yet the cannabis companies that are paving the way to allow them to do that - aren't allowed to do so," said Hodas.

Totino's responded with a blunt statement, "In Colorado, Totino's is promoting the consumption of pizza rolls and celebrating our fans who love them.”

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