Hardee's ads too much for N.C.

STAFF WRITERJuly 22, 2009 

Another Hardee's promotion has been rejected as too racy for North Carolina's conservative consumers.

The Rocky Mount company that is Hardee's largest franchisee is angry about TV ads for the fast-food chain's new Biscuit Holes.

Boddie-Noell Enterprises, which owns nearly 350 Hardee's, is refusing to run the ads, which also are drawing fire from the Parents Television Council.

The ads ask customers to help name the sweet treats, and offer suggestions such as "iced B-holes." In one ad, customers doing taste tests are asked to choose between the "A-holes" and the "B-holes."

In a letter to the council, Boddie-Noell chairman Ben Mayo Boddie wrote that he won't allow the ads to run in any markets that it controls, and that he has asked Hardee's parent, CKE Restaurants of California, to drop the ads everywhere.

Hardee's has drawn criticism for its ads before, including ones that featured socialite Paris Hilton in a bathing suit eating a massive burger.

Boddie-Noell has "opted not to air CKE ads in the past that they felt were in bad taste," said Rick Rountree, an outside spokesman. "The largest franchisee has say-so over its market, which covers most of North Carolina."

When there are "differences of opinion" like this, CKE provides alternative ads for Boddie-Noell to run in this market, Rountree added.

CKE is running the ads in select markets only after 9 p.m. and has no plans to drop the ads, said spokeswoman Jenna Petroff.

The ads are aimed at Hardee's "target audience of Young, Hungry Guys," she said in a prepared statement. "We do not aim to exclude or offend any other group with our efforts, but merely to appeal and amuse a very specific audience."

Another new Hardee's promotion involves using actresses dressed as French maids on segways to promote the chain's new French Dip Thickburger.

"The Hardee's marketing team seems intent on pushing the boundaries at every turn whether we're talking about 'iced B-holes' or the company's attempts at turning hamburgers into sex objects," said Parents Television Council president Tim Winter, in a statement. "Each and every local franchisee can and should object and every Hardee's customer has the right to patronize a more responsible fast food restaurant chain."

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