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No apologies for sexy Paris Hilton ad
Burger chain Carl's Jr. tells watchdog group infuriated over scantily clad soap-up to 'get a life.'
June 1, 2005: 11:59 AM EDT
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But watchdog groups say the Carl's Jr. spot is too hot for TV.
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NEW YORK (CNN) - Hamburger chain Carl's Jr. is making no apologies for its new Spicy Burger television commercial, which features Hilton hotel heiress and reality TV star Paris Hilton in a skin-tight swimsuit soaping up a Bentley and crawling all over it before taking a big bite out of the burger.

The ad, which has been running in major markets since last week, has drawn the ire of television watchdogs, including the Parents Television Council.

"This commercial is basically soft-core porn," said Melissa Caldwell, research director for the PTC. "The way she moves, the way she puts her finger in her mouth -- it's very suggestive and very titillating."

The Los Angeles-based advocacy group plans to mobilize its more than 1 million members to contact the restaurant chain and voice their displeasure.

At this point, the PTC does not plan to petition the FCC to make Carl's Jr. remove the ad. Nor does it plan a boycott of the burger chain.

The PTC's main objection is that unlike a television program, parents have no way of knowing when the Paris Hilton Spicy Burger ad is going to appear on TV, and cannot steer their children away from it.

Since May 19, the ad has run during sports programs, on ABC's "Desperate Housewives" finale Sunday and on the season-ending episodes of Fox's "The O.C." and NBC's "The Apprentice."

Carl's Jr.'s message to the PTC: The group needs to "get a life," said Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl's Jr., a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants (Research). "This isn't Janet Jackson -- there is no nipple in this. There is no nudity, there is no sex acts -- it's a beautiful model in a swimsuit washing a car."

Puzder says he has shown the ad to his three children, ages 12, 9 and 7, and they have shown no signs of being corrupted. "Maybe people are excited because it's Paris Hilton, but there are far worse things on television that these groups should be worried about," Puzder said.

But the PTC says it has a problem with the context and the content of the ad, not the personalities involved.

Caldwell says that because the ad is airing during sports programs, and FOX's "OC", which are heavily watched by teens, it promotes sexuality to an audience that might not be ready for it. "It's difficult to gauge how children are going to react to this," Caldwell said.

Carl's Jr. features the ad on its Web site, carlsjr.com, and also built a separate Web site called SpicyParis.com to play a 60-second version of the commercial. The company says SpicyParis.com was so overwhelmed with traffic last Friday that the Web site crashed. It is now back in operation.

A similar ad with Hilton for CKE's Hardee's hamburger chain is expected to air next month. The restaurant chain would not comment on how much Hilton was paid for the one day shoot to create the Spicy Burger ad, but its executives were impressed with her demeanor. "She was very business-like," said CEO Puzder.

Paris Hilton has a problem keeping her personal life personal. Click here.

-- from Caleb Silver, CNN Business News  Top of page

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