Hardee's 'soft porn' ad sparks call for conservative families to avoid restaurant

by Michael Foust , Guest Reviewer |

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) — Hardee's and Carl's Jr.'s television commercials have often been provocative, but their latest ad – airing in the middle of the family-friendly Olympics, no less – has parents and one leading media watchdog pushing back, even calling it "soft porn."

The ad promotes the restaurant's "3-Way Thickburger" and features three bikini-clad blond women cooking a hamburger, with suggestive dialogue referencing three-way sex.

Nearly immediately after it aired the first weekend of the Olympics on NBC, parents took to social media to complain.

"Tell me you're not airing the 3-way commercial today so my kids can watch the #Olympics without constant supervision," Jonathan Riggs (‏@jonathanriggs) wrote on Twitter.

"Thanks @Hardees 4 producing a commercial so offensive that I had to distract my child from watching," Alex Miller ‏(@alexvmiller) wrote.

Mary Beth Chapman, the wife of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman, also complained.

"I hate Hardee's commercials ... There, I said it," she wrote before adding she won't visit the restaurants because of the ads.

The media watchdog group One Million Moms sent an email to its followers, urging them to vote with their pocketbooks.

"Will Hardee's and Carl's Jr. ever learn? They are at it again with another disgusting ad," One Million Moms' Monica Cole wrote. "These ads are extremely degrading to women and should be pulled off the air immediately. ... 1MM will remain consistent and dedicated, even with companies that refuse to budge. We simply need EVERYONE'S help in taking action!"

She noted that CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee's, "is a hamburger business catering to families, yet it has consistently used sex to sell its product."

"In the past, CKE's reply has been that men are its target market, but women, especially moms, make the majority of meal decisions," Cole wrote. "Not to mention a majority of the men 'targeted' have wives and daughters they love and respect and are offended by an advertising choice that is degrading to women. These fathers also have sons they do not want exposed to CKE's sexually explicit content, which is considered soft porn by many families.

"If Hardee's and Carl's Jr. continue to advertise in this manner and refuse to remove their recent ad, conservative families will continue to avoid CKE Restaurants."