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Heinz's ketchup-dispensing billboard debuts outside The Wiener Circle

The company has put up "smackable" billboards that dispense ketchup outside two city restaurants famously known for refusing to offer the condiment

NBC Universal, Inc.

In what may have seemed like an April Fools joke in the works, Heinz has followed through on a challenge to go after ketchup's biggest adversary: hot dog joints in Chicago.

After announcing last week that "smackable" billboards that dispense ketchup would appear outside two city restaurants famously known for refusing to offer the condiment, Heinz has made their presence known.

The large ketchup-dispensing billboard was spotted outside famed hot dog joint The Wiener Circle on Monday, proving it was indeed no joke.

"Heinz knows Chicago has a complicated relationship with ketchup… However, nearly four out of five people (88%) prefer Heinz Ketchup when eating out, so for many Chicagoans, nothing is more frustrating than being stuck at a restaurant without it," the company told NBC Chicago in a statement.

In addition to The Wiener Circle, a billboard is also expected at "a fast-food chain known for not serving Heinz at Navy Pier."

At the same time, the company plans to launch a website where ketchup-lovers can "report" Chicago restaurants, or any others nationwide, that don't serve the condiment.

"For a select number, the brand will deliver on their ketchup cravings with pop-up billboards outside the reported restaurants," the company said.

Those billboards will offer a QR codes for fans to "redeem a personal stash of Heinz Ketchup to keep on-hand for the next time they dine there."

The "smackable" billboards will be on display through April 9, the company said.

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