American fast food chain Carl’s Jr, which expanded into Australia in 2016, has announced it will ditch its infamous sexually charged advertising campaigns.
The move comes after an ad agency in the United States was charged with changing the way the popular fast food chain was perceived.
Carl’s Jr has long been known for racy ads featuring scantily-clad and sexually suggestive models.
In the US Carl’s Jr ads have featured Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
In Australia, when the first Carl’s Jr opened in Bateau Bay NSW in 2016, Australian model Gemie Howe starred in a particularly controversial ad.
The new ads feature the tagline: “Pioneers of the great American burger.”
“They’ve [Carl’s Jr] never really gotten credit for their quality, and we want that message to land with consumers,” the ad agency 72andSunny’s executive creative director and partner Jason Norcross said.
“We want to reclaim their bona fides.”
Have a look at an old Carl’s Jr ad and a new one to see if you can spot the changes.
As you can see, it’s now all about the burgers. The character Carl Hardee Sr, the Carl’s Jr founder, storms the burger chain’s offices and takes the company off his son.
His son is positioned as the one who has given the company its reputation for raunchy ads.
Carl Hardee Sr is there to promote “the old way”, focusing on ingredients, customer service and a family friendly atmosphere.
In February 2016 Coralie Alison from Collective Shout, a group which opposes the sexualisation of women, slammed the chain’s raunchy advertising strategies ahead of its arrival in Australia.
“We find the advertising Carl’s Jr has used in other countries to be exploitative and degrading to women,” Ms Alison told The New Daily.
Another old ad:
“They have actually claimed that they are going to have sexy double meanings in their advertising.
“With Carl’s Jr coming in, and using the same type of sexist, exploitative advertising, it is damaging for the community who lives in that area.”
In earlier comments Collective Shout branded Carl’s Jr’s marketing as “porn-themed ads”.
Carl’s Jr announced that Mr Hardee Sr will be the face of the chain’s advertising campaign for the remainder of 2016.
The same advertising agency has also changed the packaging, uniforms and menus of Carl’s Jr, although it is unclear whether this change will extend to Australian stores.
Carl’s Jr has two locations in Australia. Its original store in Bateau Bay and another at Brisbane Airport’s domestic terminal. There are 1,387 Carl’s Jr locations around the world.
According to Carl’s Jr representatives previously said they planned to roll out more stores in Australia.