March 30, 2017

Statement: Carl’s Jr. Removes Racy, Sexist Ads, Follows Cultural Corporate Shift Away From Sexual Objectification

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington DC – Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants, has announced that it will stop producing racy ads for their hamburgers. CKE Restaurant CEO Andy Puzder has claimed that the reason for the change in marketing strategy is that millennial men care more about “where do you source your beef” than women in bikinis.

“CKE Andy Puzder claims that their marketing decision was based on millennial’s interest in beef sources, but has it not occurred to CKE Restaurants that maybe consumers today are fed up with sexually exploitive products and advertisements?” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “All around the country, we see corporations changing policies about sexual objectification and pornography. Google now prohibits ads linking to pornographic material, and American Apparel—though still often sexualized—removed advertisements that previously featured nudity. In the last few years Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Starwood Hotels have all stopped selling on-demand pornography—that’s approximately 2 million rooms that are no longer porn-portals. All of these corporate changes, including Carl’s, occurred after the corporations appeared on NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen List, which annually names 12 mainstream companies contributing to sexual exploitation, and then gives consumers grassroots opportunities to call for change.”

“Carl’s Jr., and other CKE Restaurants, have a long history of producing misogynistic, hyper-sexualized ads,” Hawkins continued. “Their ads have constantly demeaned women to mere pieces of meat in lurid attempts to sell their hamburgers. We are glad that their advertisement strategies have changed, but underscore that CEO Puzder, and his future replacement Jason Marker, would be smart to commit to never create ads with such sexist themes again.”

To learn more about the 2017 Dirty Dozen List visit:

Further Reading