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November 07, 2003 12:00am
Pro-Family Group Targets Carl's Jr Over TV Ad with Hef
Source: Agape Press
by: Jody Brown

A pro-family group is taking issue with a national fast-food chain for featuring pornographer Hugh Hefner and his Playboy "Bunnies" on a new television commercial. [Makes me hungry for a hamburger. -Ed.]

Last week, CKE Restaurants -- parent company of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. establishments -- defended a sexually provocative TV commercial for Carl's Jr. By saying it was designed to target young men. The ad shows a model simulating sexual moves while riding a mechanical bull.

Apparently believing that sexual fantasy is somehow related to the decision process one goes through before ordering a hamburger, this week the corporation released another Carl's Jr. commercial, this one starring Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and several Playboy "bunnies."

A CKE press release says the theme of the ad campaign highlighting a new line of burgers is "variety" -- and that the ads "humorously allude to Hefner's enjoyment of variety." the title of the CKE press release? "Because Some Guys Don't Want the Same Thing Day After Day."

"Who better to deliver the message of variety than Hugh Hefner?" asks CKE president and CEO Andy Puzder in the statement. "We're appealing to an audience of young, hungry guys who expect a quality product but want to have something different from time to time." Hefner, he says, appeals to the chain's target audience and "credibly communicates our message of variety."

It was the issue of Hefner's involvement and so-called "credibility" that prompted Dr. Don Wildmon, founder and chairman of the American Family Association, to alert members of OneMillionDads.com and OneMillionMoms.com to the anti-family message of the ad campaign.

"I hope you are disturbed about this as much as I am," Wildmon tells members of the online activist groups. "Hugh Hefner made his fortune by exploiting women as mere sex objects and tempting men to cheat on their wives. And we'll never know how many millions of little boys have been negatively influenced by Hefner's porn magazines."

The pro-family leader encourages the activist groups to join in what he calls "An all-out contact blitz" -- via e-mail, telephone, and conversations with local owners and managers -- against both Carl's Jr. And Hardee's restaurants. He also asks them to consider not eating at the restaurants right now, because by doing so they are "supporting the company's obsession with advancing pornography's foremost mouthpiece as a legitimate and acceptable spokesman."

"We need to let them know we are fed up with their attack on family values," Wildmon says.

One may wonder why Hefner agreed to be the centerpiece of a major TV ad campaign for the first time in his 50 years as a purveyor of porn. The answer may lie in the CKE press release, in which Hefner admits to being a hamburger lover and seeing it as a "good business opportunity since we share a similar target audience -- namely, guys."

CKE Restaurants operates in 44 states and 14 countries under the names of Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and LA Salsa Fresh Mexican Grills.

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