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Carl's Jr radio spot sneaks around TV ad ban

Fast food chain Carl’s Jr has come up with a novel way to get around the New Zealand ban of its American TV commercial.

The Commercial Approvals Bureau banned the restaurant’s Memphis BBQ Burger ad from broadcast here because it uses sexual appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner.

The CAB also says Carl’s Jr is using sex to sell an unrelated product.

Restaurant Brands chief executive Russel Creedy says he did not expect the ads to be banned and the company wants to use the same marketing DNA for all New Zealand advertising.

“The objective of our advertising is to cut through the clutter and reach our target audience of young hungry guys.” 

The company ran the advertising online and through social media earlier this year. However, it is now also using ad agency Special Group to create racy radio spots that detail what happened in the banned ad.

They are voiced over by an American and describe two girls eating Carl’s Jr’s products. 

Special Group creative director Tony Bradbourne says it is a challenge to let people imagine visually with radio. “Sometimes restrictions like that really push you further.” 

He dismisses concerns the new radio ads may also be banned. “It’s just great humour which is on tone and on brand for our audience.”

The agency adopts material from the US on a product-by-product basis.

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions

Can't use honesty in their approach I guess - i.e., that in 30 years their customers will most likely be obese, diabetic and having heart attacks.

Thoroughly misleading advertising depicting those girls featured in the US TV advert because you never see babes like that in a fast food joint. More likely to be slovenly and fat; wearing tracksuit pants and grubby sneakers; with soft, clammy Michelin Man-type arms.

Are you saying you expect beaches to be full of young teenagers, as well as gyms? They don't promise that the burger joints will be full of young teenagers wearing tight clothing. Ads are what sell, but if you don't want to buy it after seeing the ad then don't buy it. Such a simple choice, really.

There are a lot worse ads on TV than the Carl's Jr one that was banned.
At least it has a bit of a sense of humour to it.

The adverts I have seen on TV for Carl's Jr burgers were straight to the point and not making any excuses for their incredibly fatty and heart attack inducing contents ... they tell and show it like it is - not making any excuses or hinting that they might actually be slightly healthy.
On that basis, I give them 10 outa 10 for Honesty in Advertising.
Speaking as someone who has to watch what they eat/drink, given up the ciggies and living a healthy lifestyle, I have to say that every now and then I have to bust out and devour a big greasy burger and chips plus icecream or milkshake to follow ... it's a mind thing.
Guess I'll be going to Carl's the next time I get that craving - about once every full moon.

Can't see that the Carl's Jr ad is any worse than the Coca-Cola ads of skimpily-clad nubile young wenches leaping into the sea. And surely it is dangerous to leap into the sea with a bottle to your lips - but I guess broken teeth are not sexy.

The wowsers in the CAB trying to justify their extortionate salaries again.