Dale Gibson of the Triangle Business Journal reports that the largest franchisee of Hardee’s restaurants is blasting the burger chain’s newest advertising campaign and says it will not place the spots in any of the markets in which it operates eateries.
In the letter responding to complaints from the Parents Television Council, Ben Mayo Boddie, chairman of the board of Rocky Mount, N.C.-based Boddie-Noell Enterprises, states: “Thank you for your recent letter complaining about the biscuit hole advertising. I agree with you 100 percent. Why in heavens name does Hardee’s Food Systems and Mendelsohn Zien Advertising want to put Hardee’s in a category that diminishes not only the product but the brand itself?”
In the campaign, Hardee’s seeks the help of its patrons to name its new biscuit hole product and is using suggestions, such as “iced B-holes” and “bis-ticles,” which Boddie-Noell, in a news release, characterizes as allusions to the male anatomy.
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Boddie has asked executives with Carpenteria-based CKE Restaurants (NYSE:CKR), which owns the Hardee’s brand, to eliminate the spots in all markets.
Jenna Petroff, public relations manager for CKE Restaurants, says there are no current plans to drop the ads, which she says will be aired only after 9 p.m.
Petroff says franchisees are free to air or not air any ads in their markets at their discretion. She wrote in a statement that CKE “ … adopts a creative approach to our advertising. It is intended to communicate the core message of our premium quality food to our target audience of Young, Hungry Guys. We do not aim to exclude or offend any other group with our efforts, but merely to appeal and amuse a very specific audience. We understand that not everyone may view our advertising the same way and we respect all views.”