Pizza Hut is rethinking its contest daring people to ask "Sausage or Pepperoni?" at the presidential debate Tuesday.

 

Pizza Hut (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

After the stunt triggered backlash last week, the company says it's moving the promotion online, where a contestant will be randomly selected to win free pizza for life.

In a press release, Pizza Hut does not acknowledge the controversy but rather gives the subject greater weight.

"The anticipation and buzz around this question proves that this debate should be taken to the people," said Kurt Kane , Pizza Hut CMO. "We're no longer asking a few hundred attendees at the town hall presidential debate on Oct. 16 to pose the question, rather we're bringing the question – Sausage or Pepperoni? – to millions of Americans."

The pizza delivery chain had offered the prize — a pie a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 — to anyone who posed the question to either President Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney during the live Town Hall-style debate.

But blogs and media outlets immediately took the pizza delivery chain to task for trying to capitalize on the election buzz by injecting itself into the process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report