Problem

Owner of over 3,300 Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations, CKE Restaurants utilized rank sexual suggestions and explicit images of the female body in commercials and print ads to sell hamburgers.

VICTORY UPDATE: Carl’s Jr. Will No Longer Produce Racy, Sexist Ads

In April 2017, Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants including Hardee’s, announced that it would stop producing racy ads for their fast food products.

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. He also made an ominous statement about the fact this the next CEO of CKE Restaurant Jason Marker could always decide to bring the hyper-sexualized ads back.

NCOSE was quick to comment:

“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. This is a victory!

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

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.

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 CKE executive leadership ought to formally commit to never produce ads with such sexist themes again.

CKE Restaurants is an international fast food franchise that owns over 3,300 restaurant locations in 42 states and 30 countries. This highly successful restaurant business includes 4 different brands, namely, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, The Red Burrito and The Green Burrito. Sexually exploitive ads are primarily used to sell products for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Over the last decade, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have produced numerous raunchy commercials, exploiting the female body in order to sell their food products. Such commercials include scantily dressed women performing common tasks—such as washing a car, grilling a burger, or attending a drive-in-movie. The women sexualize these tasks while eating a product sold by one of these fast food companies. These tasks are sexualized by lascivious clothing, lingering camera shots on various body parts and provocative movements, positions and gestures by the actress.

Many viewers have found this sexually driven material upsetting, as it objectifies women and shapes children’s perceptions of sexuality by airing on prime time television. Numerous individuals and notable groups have reached out to CKE Restaurants, pleading for a less harmful approach to advertising.

Unfortunately, when questioned about the effects of the objectification of women, USA Today reports that Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, is more interested in profitable marketing than he is of the harms that may come from his over-sexualized ads.

Furthermore, when controversy arose over a scandalous CKE commercial featuring Paris Hilton, Puzder was quoted by CNN saying that adversaries to his commercials need to “get a life” as there are neither nudity nor sex acts within the ad.

Puzder’s repeated refusal to adhere to public complaints and his abrasive responses to distressed parents is concerning for the future of marketing. We hope that instead of rejecting what many have voiced as concern for their children, CKE Restaurant executives will consider the consequences of their advertisements and find alternative ways to highlight the quality of their products.

Additionally, we hope CKE Restaurants will consent to meet with us to discuss constructive ways the company can avoid sexually exploitive advertisements and eliminate a culture that affects society as a whole.

Read our letter to CKE Restaurants

Proof

WARNING: The screenshots and commercials in the links below are sexually explicit. We only gather them here to help the press and public understand CKE Restaurants tactics of using sexual exploitation to make a profit. We encourage you to only view if necessary to understand the extent of CKE restaurants’ involvement.



Take Action

Join the Social Media Campaign

ACTION: Go nuts with the hashtags #cutthecarls and #morethanmeat.

Ideas:

  • Share Travis’s photo, or your own similar photo, asking others to #cutthecarls.
  • Take to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all of social media to talk back to Carl’s Jr. and tell them you’re taking your appetite elsewhere.
  • Check out what others are doing in this same fight by checking hashtags #cutthecarls & #morethanmeat and then share what others are posting too!
  • Most of all, full-on boycott Carl’s Jr. Not even on a road trip when it’s the only restaurant for miles. Vote with your dollars.

Cut-the-carls-travis-beauty-redefined-e1409274561675

Thanks Beauty Redefined for getting this started!

Tweet @Carlsjr & @Hardees

Tweet at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Send a tweet here or just use this one:

@Carlsjr & @Hardees stop using sexual exploitation to make a profit. Women are #morethanmeat! #cutthecarls

Share your STORY

Personal stories help elected and business leaders to see the grave harm associated with this material and can be very helpful in getting them to change their policies. All will be shared anonymously. Please email your story to public@ncose.com.

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Updates

Carl’s Jr. Will No Longer Produce Racy, Sexist Ads

Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants including Hardee’s, has announced that it will stop producing racy ads for their fast food products. 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…

Statement: New Carl’s Jr. Commercial Objectifies Women to Sell Hamburgers

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE  Washington, DC – Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants, recently released a controversial commercial where scantily clad women play volleyball over the Mexican border in order to promote a new Tex Mex burger. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) denounces this ad as…

Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl Commercial Encourages Sexual Exploitation

By Sarah Purple, NCSE Intern As sexual exploitation becomes more and more mainstream, it has even become a part of one of America’s favorite pastimes – the Super Bowl. In the past, both commercials and halftime shows have become more and more sexualized (I’m sure we all remember the Janet Jackson incident). This year’s game, occurring…

Hardee’s, YouTube, Verizon make ‘dirty dozen’ list (Washington Times)

Verizon, YouTube, Cosmopolitan magazine, and the parent company of Hardee’s restaurants are all part of the new “dirty dozen” list of entities that sell pornography or use explicit sexuality in their advertising.

Join the Social Media campaign against @Carlsjr & @Hardees

 We are happy to join Beauty Redefined and many other groups in this effort! HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO! Share Travis’s photo below, or your own similar photo, asking others (especially 18- to 35-year-old men) to #cutthecarls. Take to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all of social media to talk back to Carl’s Jr. and tell…

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