A Letter From A Dad To Carl’s Jr. and The Women in Their Commercials

Dear Carls Jr. –

I’ve been a big fan of your burgers for a long time. You’ve always had a unique taste that kept me coming back. Then you guys came up with those unbelievable milkshakes. They are the best of any milkshakes around. Then there is your breakfast! Some of my best memories consist of waking up early and heading down to Trestles beach in San Clemente, and there you were…open early with a clean bathroom and a big bacon and egg burrito to help me down the trail to surf some of the best waves in Southern California. What memories! And you were part of that!

I’ve eaten at your establishment more times than I can remember because of the fact that you have a location right across the street from my office building. You are the only drive-thru for miles…so when I’m in a hurry…you make it really easy. When I was little…I’d get a little happy stars meal and it would make me happy…

But things have changed between me and you. Your little smiling stars now make me frown. I haven’t eaten your food for at least 2 years now. So many times I’m in a hurry during a busy work day and your food sounds so good to me but I just won’t let myself…because of what you stand for now.

Let me explain myself. Awhile back you started a nasty little campaign to push the limits of what is acceptable in your commercials. It started to become really awkward when one of your commercials would come on in between time outs while my family was watching a basketball game together. We would just divert our attention and talk about something else or turn the channel for the time being. But now you’re just going to far. You’re getting sneakier with time and I’m not sure what to do.

We don’t have TV in our home and so we’re able to shun a lot of the filth…but my wife took my kids to a restaurant with her sister and her kids last week and she related an experience she had with you. My kids are 8 and 6. One girl and one boy. The girl is 8 and she’s taking it all in. In the restaurant they ate at… a TV playing sports was visible from their table. Sports are awesome…and clean…and that is an obvious reason why the restaurant would have that on. It’s something that the whole family can watch. That restaurant would never dream of throwing in a porn flick for all of their customers to watch while they ate…especially with little kids around. But…you…you have found a way around that haven’t you! You figure…that if you can call it a “commercial” then it will get aired in between programs that are acceptable for everyone. You are knowingly sneaking porn into the minds of our children and desensitizing the whole family by calling it a “commercial” and having it only run for 30 seconds. It’s really not a commercial though. It’s a 30 second porn flick. I don’t know how you clear it through the networks. Maybe they’re at fault as well. All I know is that it sucks!

It just so happened (as my wife related it to me) that while all of the kids eyes were glued to their favorite sports team…out of the blue…comes your most recent commercial. Two women nigh unto naked falling over each other flaunting your most recent creation. I’ve got to give it to your marketing department though. They are smart. They found a way to get the most bang for your buck. They found a way to fringe on lesbianism and yet at the same time get men to think that two women is better than one. Just like your meats. Two meats is better than one right? Is that the message you’re trying to convey?

I don’t know what all of the other dads in the United States wants for their daughters…but I know I don’t want mine to ever see this stuff especially at such a young and impressionable age. I also don’t want her thinking she has to be like one of these women in order to be attractive to a guy. And oh all those poor little boys that are going to be raised with a false sense of what a woman should be. You are destroying everything that a woman should be 30 seconds at a time…almost as if you’re administering mental poison by degrees, and you’re taking the young people with you. A little bit of shock value here and a little bit of shock value there until it’s just “ok”. If you were a TV show or a movie with a rating…then we would know how and when to avoid you, but you are sneaky…and it’s impossible to retract those images once they’ve hit their little brains. You’ve just taught my innocent little daughter that it’s cool and hip and alright to become sexually promiscuous with other girls and to show your body to the world. Is that what you want the kids of the nation thinking about every time they go to get a burger or pass by one of your happy star smily faces? You’re going to turn all those innocent smily faces (that has been the icon of your brand for years) into depressed little sad faces both male and female alike because of your messaging.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re in it for the money and sex sells…right? You’re going to tell me that it’s my responsibility to guard my kids from that stuff and you’re right! But seriously…you are getting too efficient at getting in front of people’s faces at the times they least expect it. You don’t need to teach the youth of the nation that women should be looked at as meat. Your  food is awesome! You don’t need to do what you’re doing in order to sell your food.  What kind of “meat” are you trying to sell around there anyway? Sex has nothing to do with a cheeseburger. I don’t see the connection at all. There are plenty of other food joints that are doing awesome without destroying the minds of the rising generation.

I’m just begging you…on behalf of all the dads, and all the youth of our nation, to go back to selling burgers and get away from selling sex and promiscuity. When my kids are old enough to surf Trestles…I want them to be able to grab a breakfast meal from you instead of heading down the street. Those are memories I want to have with them…and I’m hoping you can help. I don’t want them to see that red and yellow smiling star and the only memory that comes to mind is two fringe lesbians getting sexual with close to nothing on. All it takes is a shift in your marketing campaign to do it…and for what it’s worth…you’ll have four new customers right off the bat.

Your estranged friend,


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  • Sandra

    Their commercials have always bothered me. Seriously, what does sex have to do with a burger??? Thank you for writing this. I will be writing my own letter to them. Love your blog!

    • Yes! Write Sandra! Thanks!

    • apparently Carl’s Jr marketing team views women as meat… and selling that is worse than selling sex.

  • Chad Francom

    Well stated!

  • Great letter, Greg. Have you gotten a response from Carl’s Jr?

    • Thanks Becky. Just posted it about 15 minutes ago.

      • Joshua Cumrine

        Where at Greg? Not seeing it anywhere?

  • Megan Thomas Griffiths

    Have you seen the Hardee’s commercials? Practically naked girls all over cars! What in the world?

    • M

      Hardees and Carl’s Jr are actually the same company. Just branded differently depending on which side of the US you live on.

  • Hanna Jardine Perazzo

    LOVED this article. Thank you for saying what we all are thinking. Years ago I wrote them a letter and the response was, “it’s airing between 8-10 pm to target a specific audience, not children.” I guess between 8-10 pm I don’t get a choice whether or not I want to view porn. It is heartbreaking what the world is coming to. Thank you again for standing up for GOOD.

  • Peter

    This was SO good. On point. Thoughts I’ve had for the past 5 or 6 years. Thank you

  • Savannah Schmidt Oveson

    This is a great letter. I remember when I first saw that commercial, I was completely shocked and disturbed. I discussed how upset I was about the messages from the commercial with my mother-in-law, wondering if maybe I took them in the wrong way. But no, I didn’t. It’s not inappropriate just for the youth. It’s inappropriate for everyone. Thank you for saying something.

  • Jonathan Liu

    Thank you, Greg, as a fellow dad, So Cal resident, and LDS guy, I appreciate everything you wrote. I certainly hope that this catches EVERYONE’S attention. You don’t need that kind of advertisement to sell your products… unless your products are, in fact, those ladies. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of when I think of Carl’s Jr adverts is Paris Hilton washing a car. Which of their burgers was she eating? I can’t even tell you. That’s horribly wrong. There are much better ways to get people into their establishment. I truly hope you get a response from Carl’s Jr.

  • S M

    I am with you Greg! I don’t have cable so I don’t watch television. However, I was out at a restaurant and the Carl’s Jr ad came on and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I was completely DISGUSTED! I seriously could not believe it was a Carl’s Jr commercial!!!!!!! A new Carl’s Jr just opened by me and I won’t go by because I am so turned off by the commercials why would I want to eat their food? Thank you once again for speaking out!

  • Dave

    I find it funny how people find the human body to be “filth” and taboo, yet violence on TV is acceptable. While I can understand you not wanting your children to see this, as that is your right as a parent, what do you do at the grocery store? Checkout lines filled with magazines some showing women in bikini’s, just as reviling right? Carl’s is not the only one to do this, take a look at hunting ads, what does a woman in a skimpy bikini have to do with a rifle? or a fishing pole? While I don’t agree with your frustration, you are entitled to your opinion. Perhaps you should take those opportunities to teach your children your beliefs rather than attempt to shelter them. If more people would discuss issues or view points with their children, I believe that is a much more effective way of teaching vs sheltering. That way, when certain situations arise when a parent may not be around, they know how to handle it. Just my .02

    • Jeremy

      Dave. Remember that being all inclusive is a bit erroneous. You are absolutely right in that we should not make the mistake of neglecting to teach our children issues and view points important to us parents. However, to assume that Greg is “sheltering” is not entirely correct. There is no evidence that he isn’t teaching his children his beliefs. Just by stating his efforts with the TV does not imply “sheltering”, it implies supervision. But it becomes confusing when you teach a principle and then society counteracts that principle especially with the means of television and advertising.

    • laura

      Why is shelter always used in such a negative way? Do you have children? Of course it is important to teach kids but some things cannot be unseen. To compare violence in tv and movies misses the point of this post. When was the last time a commercial showed some graphic violence? You can steer clear of violence and sexual images in your viewing choices but when a commercial so assaulting to the senses airs in the middle of an otherwise family friendly choice, you do feel protective as a parent. If you dont believe that that which we see and hear affects our attitudes, judgement and sensibilities, you are naive.

      • Dave

        I do have children, but I want them to see the world, use their heads, and be able to choose from right and wrong, when I am not present. Many kids “know” alcohol is bad, but what happens when the parents are not around? Why is there such a teen drinking problem in this country? Because kids are sheltered from it and rebel, and think its cool when parents are not watching. Same principle applies. I go the the river, I have young kids and a lot of partying goes on that I saw when I was a child, did as an adult, and want them to see know. I want them to see it and be exposed a little so when the day comes that I am not with them, they understand what is going on and what decisions to make. I find it best to expose kids, at least mine and the way I was brought up, to different scenarios and explain what is going on. This way, they will see what happens when someone drinks or party’s too much vs them not knowing what too much is.
        When we are at the river, there is difference, in my opinion, between some women out there having fun, and others taking it too far and putting themselves in a potentially bad situation. I want my daughter to be able to identify where the line is one day. I cannot be with her 100% of the time, but I can do my best to prepare her. Sheltering is negative because it does not prepare anyone for anything. To think that you can simply say something is bad, and think that’s good enough, that is truly naive.

        • Aaron T.

          Dave, your arguments betray your own logic.

          I agree with you that it is good to teach your children the consequences of negative behaviors like alcohol and to show and give examples of consequences, and to not make it a taboo subject in attempts to remove the child’s curiosity, then to let them make their own decisions.
          But by allowing(or even encouraging) sexually implicit material into your home, even if you teach your children that it is bad, isn’t like going to the river and showing your children the pros and cons of alcohol. It’s more like letting a stranger teach your kids that alcohol is fun and not damaging at all, then leaving a few beers in their room.
          There’s no need to give your children a constant reminder and temptation, they get enough of that everywhere else. Teach them and show them examples while you’re with them so that they can make the correct decisions when they’re alone.

          • Anna

            Well said!!

          • jenn

            I also wrote them a letter and my family and friends will not be going back there as well. My little boy can not watch TV alone just in case this commercial comes on 🙁 thank you for standing up to what is right!!!

        • Sam

          There have actually been psychological studies done that show that the make up of a child’s brain that is exposed to pornography, or even sexually arousing images, changes. Even simple momentary exposure does psychological damage to the child. It in effect will DAMAGE the way children see relationships. When they get older they will be unable to distinguish between what is a healthy relationship and what isn’t. It puts them at extreme risk (no matter how much negative emphasis is placed on what they see by the parent) of being involved in sexual relationships as a teen. This increases the risk for teen pregnancy which is a detriment to society. Most issues of crime in society result from broken single-parent homes. The more teens having babies, the more broken single-parent homes there will be in America. These aren’t opinions. These are facts.

        • Rose

          As a teenage girl in my senior year of high school, I have to agree with both of you. From one end of things, I’m glad that my parents allowed me to be “exposed” to things in a way that I will know how to respond to them in the future and say no to things that can present opportunities for harm to come to me(sex, rape, drugs, drinking, smoking etc.). However when a Carl’s Jr. ad comes on TV that’s a completely different story. What will seeing a scantily clad woman chomping a hamburger do to help me know how to make good decisions in the future? There is SO much pressure on my girls of my generation and younger to be “sexy.” Often more than adults realize. I don’t have a boyfriend, but there is a little voice in my head that always says “if only you were slimmer and not so muscular…or if your hair was longer…or if you dressed like other girls…THEN you would have a boyfriend.” It’s a constant daily battle for me to keep wearing the clothes I love to find at thrift stores and be proud of the fact that my body enables me to participate in a sport that I love. But when I see a Carl’s Jr. commercial my first thought is “oh that is disgusting.” My second thought is “but obviously guys pay attention to it, or they wouldn’t still have these on TV.” That little voice in my head that tells me I should be different than I am gains strength and begins to shout louder. This is not a matter of what you are “exposing” your kids to…every parent will do their parenting differently, and that is a good thing. Its not about what you are teaching your kids…What are these COMMERCIALS teaching your kids?
          Commercials that come on during the Superbowl, during football games (which I’ve watched with my dad for as long as I can remember), and other sports on TV, are designed to reach a certain demographic, but they are reaching so many more girls than they think they are.

        • hopper

          I had a “sheltered” up bringing. Disney channel was basically the only thing allowed to watch when I could watch tv, music was very selective, People I could be around that weren’t family were few and far between, I didn’t even know what certain words were till I was in high school, and even then I didn’t know what some meant till I got my first job after graduation. That being said my parents talked to me, I knew what sex was, but I was also raised to have value for the meaning it can have between you and another. I knew what drugs and alcohol were, but I also was taught to know the way they can truly ruin ones life. I was raised to know the difference between right and wrong. You can have parents that choose not to expose you to certain things and still know what happens in the world and be able to choose for yourself what you want. Commercials like this, make me unbelievably uncomfortable. I wouldn’t choose to watch things like this by myself, why would I choose to watch it with my family.

          Any one who blames life choices on a parent who “sheltered” them can’t take responsibility. Because there are just as many, or more, people “exposed” to things of the world that make bad decisions as us sheltered kids.

      • “shelter” is negative because it doesn’t allow a child to learn how the real world works. There’s no true growth in a sheltered environment.

    • Mckenna

      I completely agree, here in utah they cover the magazines up even if there is a little bit of cleavge or a belly button..i once saw a kid lifting the plastic cover to see what was behind it and his mom smacked his hand so fast and yelled at him…sheltering only creates curiousity and leading kids astray..as someone that has been in a very sheltered community her whole life i dont think its the way to teach kids. But i do agree with this blog, i hate the carls jr commercials. I hate the image of women it portrays, i feel like i constantly need to be a super model all done up to be appreciated or noticed, but i have done modeling and its all fake, those women dont look like that, its all makeup, hair extensions, fake tans, photoshop and much much more…sad and pathetic really.

    • Brittany elliott

      Even in the grocery store, the racier magazines (Cosmo and some tattoo mags, even a few fashion) are covered up revealing only the title of the magazine or put rows behind the others so that you have to actively seek out those images. I for one LOVE Carl’s Jr and still eat there but I lan on emailing them to let them know how I feel about the advertising.

    • Anna

      That’s why this article is so important. We need all businesses to stop forcing porn on our families. Carlo’s Jr. Is but one stop of many. Have to start somewhere. Also, it’s not about sheltering our children but stopping this filth from being forced on us. My living room is not a strip club. If I wanted to view such filth I would go to a strip club.

    • mamadoogie

      Nobody is complaining about the beauty of the human body. It is when the human body is displayed in a pornagraphic way. It is not being in the bikini, it is the gyrations that go with it. And, frankly, I have complained to grocery stores about the magazines they display that are not in good taste. I have often turned them around to the back side.

  • Ann Weigler

    Thanks Greg for your open and honest appraisal of those commercials. Maybe the subtlety of the message they and others send have been part of the declining of morality in America.

  • kirst

    I wrote a letter last year saying the same things ~ their response was basically that I was not their target demographic, and that others had not complained so they felt fine with what they were airing. I also posted on their fb page and got nothing but rude comments. My brother wrote a letter the same week and his email response said they would let the marketing dept know…different because he was part of their ” target demographic” ? Thank you for doing this, I hope more men will follow suit, maybe the men are the ones who will make some change occur.

    • Eve

      I actually called them about five years ago. They basically said, “Thanks for the input, but we’re selling to young men.” I interpret that as they don’t WANT family business, so our family goes out of our way to NOT go to Carl’s Jr.

      • Cindy

        You know what gets me? They have play places in their facilities! Who was it they are marketing to?

      • Virginia

        If they can get these young men hooked on their porn (er, I mean food)..then they may never marry and have a loving wife to cook for them and may spend lots and lots at Carl’s Jr. What a happy story..

      • Primary Carrie

        So it’s really just another Hooters? Maybe people need to start photographing men who eat there and posting their pictures on Facebook, like men who visit prostitutes? We could call it, “The Carls Junior Shaming.”

  • Deirhna

    I’ve been hating their ads for a long time….You expressed my feelings exactly….I got to go with you and do the boycott….bye-bye sweet potato fries….

  • Erin Mylroie

    I haven’t eaten at Carl’s Jr. in years because of one of the commercials I saw on national television. Carl’s Jr,, you don’t have to appeal to man’s basest compulsions to turn a profit. We don’t need to see more women objectified and sexualized just to make a hamburger seem more appealing. Thanks for addressing this issue, Mr. Trimble.

    • Brittney Richmond

      Burgers are good on their own

  • Sheila Welhoelter

    Thanks so much for your words. I am so tired of the over sexualization of everything and the acceptance of the more trashy the better. It affects more than you know. Keep protecting those little ones.

  • That is very interesting…I did not know that. BYU may need to make some changes then…

  • I love the criticism Rachel. Its ok to post it. Maybe if you could point out a few of the mistakes…then I’ll get them changed right away. I write in my spare time…and its not a full time job and I can;t afford an editor for every post. I do have people read over them most of the time but they don;t catch everything either. Sorry for the mistakes and hope you were able to sift through the junk! 🙂 Tanks again and let me know if you see any mistakes I can fix!

    • Melody

      “You’re food is awesome!” Should be your and you put an unnecessary apostrophe on dad’s. That’s all I remember off the top of my head.

    • April Ballou

      “Tanks” I think this was lost on her.
      Thank you thank you for this article. Couldn’t agree with you more Greg.

    • Paul

      I guess I didn’t see any typo’s in the article (probably already fixed them) but found it humorous in your reply that there are a few errors. Semicolon instead of an apostrophe in Can’t and Don’t and Tanks instead of Thanks.
      Anyway, great post and I do agree with what you say. My daughter is 20 and she has the stubbornness of a mule and the faith and testimony of an apostle. So I’m sure she doesn’t let these commercials affect her. I do remember having to explain things to her and trying to protect her but things weren’t this bad in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

  • Nae Bang

    Love your post. Shared it on Facebook and Twitter, but could you fix the title please? The name of the restaurant is Carl’s Jr. (not Carls Jr’s). Also, could you put in a link at the end of your post to let people know where they can give Carl’s Jr. their feedback as well? I saw it in the comments here and emailed them. http://www.carlsjr.com/contact/contact_form
    Great post!

  • Tasha

    I just took a moment to share this article in a message on the carls Jr facebook page. My stomach is still sick from the handful of pornographic images I caught glimpse of as their statuses. It’s absurd and I thank you for writing this post and for bringing attention to the problem.

  • A. Peterson

    It’s not just bad for the daughters, but for sons as well. Too many times I have slapped a hand over my son’s eyes during a commercial break. T.V. just isn’t fun to watch anymore. Not when all it does is tear us down. Great article!

  • Concerned Mom

    Thank you for writing the letter, that I wish had written myself. I used to love Cj’s, but i refuse to go there now and give into their ads. I’m afraid to see what their next ad will be like. Thanks again!! I hope they do something about it!

  • Kimberly Spurgeon

    I am so glad someone had the guts to tell them what I’ve been thinking all along. I get this sense of being trapped or tricked into watching something I didn’t see coming. I don’t appreciate it, and I’m an adult. We need to protect our next generation. Thank you!

  • Jesse Green

    i dont like seeing crosses hanging across the sky like obelisks but i see them everywhere. what if i dont want my children seeing you represent a “savior” that promotes rape, racism, genocide, and sacrifice of human life.
    The problem with people like you is you think you are being perpetually victimized by people living life they way they want and not by your bullshit rules. its fucking ludicrous. Yet you think Carls JR should change their commercials to your taste? the arrogance is unbelievable. get off the net please. people are sharing your article to make a fool of you. you are literally a laughing stock of the internet as i type. LOLLOOLOLOLOLO@ your faith

    • TG

      I hope you eventually realize that mocking others is distasteful and rude.

  • angelemm

    SHAMEFUL! I just wrote. I don’t have tv and this just reaffirmed WHY we don’t! Thanks!

  • The best place…except for the walk back up the hill after your arms are noodles… 🙂

  • Debbie

    I couldn’t agree more with what you have written! I too have stopped eating at their restaurants due to the disgusting commercials. Now I need to write a letter to them so they will know why I have stopped. Thank you for drawing this to the forefront of our consciousness so we can not accept it as disgusting, but try to fight it with words.

  • Laura

    I have refused to eat there for a number of years for the very reason you’re describing. I also do not buy anything from Victoria Secret( they sell my favorite bra) because of their pornographic advertising. They dont get a pass simply because they sell underwear. I wish more people would take a stand. Thanks for this post.

  • Sarah Pinborough Carlson

    Thank-you for articulating this so well!!! I whole hardheartedly agree. I am so glad their are people who feel the same way as our family. I won’t take my kids to Carl’s Jr because I CANT STAND ADVERTISING!

  • Bertness

    Thank you!! I couldn’t agree more! How are we to protect our children from this awful, horrid filth when it is literally around every corner? These commercials are disgusting. It’s so disheartening to see what our world has come to. I will write as well. Maybe they will listen if enough of us do. Thanks again.

  • Brian Wozniak

    I’ve been boycotting for over a year. I used to go all the time and they have very tasty food. I see the commercials as an attack on women. I cannot do business with a company that objectifies the people I so dearly love. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Delma Johnson

    Thank you for writing this and including the link for me to write my own letter objecting to their terrible advertising. I also have not eaten at Carl’s Jr for years due to their advertising.

  • I’ve never read such pathetic gibberish in all my life, except from the likes of Michelle Bachman, grow up. If you were really the business man you claim to be, you’d appreciate a company’s attempt to survive in a brutal climate by appealing directly to their target audience, which isn’t you and your family. As your Kids grows older, if it turns out Carl’s jr is creating problems for their healthy sexual development, you are the issue, not a burger chain. With the amount of inappropriate behavior that we all are subjected to on a daily basis, in the form of school shootings, beheadings etc…not to mention the influences your kids will be confronted with as the go through school, what you are whining about is farcicle. And I have a warning for you, if you try and sheild your Kids from the terrors of media influence, they will resent you for it. You can only tell your kids what is right and what is wrong, according to your ethics, after that, they will have to figure it out themselves. And as long as you’re not an overbearing influence, you may be useful in that endeavor. Freedom, means being free to decide what is good for you and those you are responsible for. Who the hell eats at Carls’ s jr anyway but 18 to 35 year old single men, who watch sports on TV in bars,. Grow up!!

    http://Www.Kissmyblarneystones. com

    • Who said I’m a good business man? I stink at making money because I get more excited about the things that don’t make money. That’s besides the point though.

      Thanks for all the insults though! I really should grow up!

      • The only thing your children need from you is leadership. If anything, especially a Carls jr. commercial, is competing with your supremacy in that department, you have a serious problem. Might I suggest wearing thicker skin if you’re feeling insulted?

        • Define leadership…

          • I was in your situation 10-15 years ago. One thing I strived to maintained during my daughter’s upbringing was a level of being consistent, understanding and moderate. I rarely scolded her, but when she offered a view that I thought was a bit extreme, I’d counter it with my own view accompanied with a calm explanation why I saw things different from her.

            I drink like a fish. or did, but she never saw me take a drink until she was 15, and that was by design. Even though we were living in a country with a very well known drinking culture, I never felt threatened by the other influences she faced in that regard, like the way you feel threatened by a Carl’s jr commercial. That’s because I was in charge, I was her leader. I maintain that If you are a moderate loving role model to your children, they will instinctively follow you and everything else will be second to that unless you say different.

            My issue with your post was how you blamed Cj’s for the content your kids saw, and holding them accountable for it by boycotting their product. Trust me, if you are in charge, Cj’s should be irrelevant.

    • Amy Jo

      “…if you try and sheild your Kids from the terrors of media influence, they will resent you for it.”

      Are you saying it’s okay for a child to watch porn because it’s presented by the media? Interesting view point. If my children are going to resent me for helping them avoid porn, then resent away. It may never become an addiction for some people, but can become a HUGE problem for others. It can affect work, relationships, and really every aspect of your life. What makes you think that avoiding television, or more accurately, commercials, is overbearing? I agree with you about teaching your children to make, what you consider good choices, and then allow them to figure it out. However, freedom to choose comes by degrees. I don’t allow my five-year-old daughter to play at her friends house when her friend’s dad is a convicted pedophile. If I left it up to my daughter, she’d be over there in a heartbeat. She’d go even though I feel like I’ve taught her how to avoid pedophiles. I totally understand what the author is saying. It just feels like allowing a six-year-old a shot or two of hard liquor every now and then; it’s a bad idea. Clearly, you don’t feel the same about this morality/addiction issue as I do and this author does. That’s fine. Maybe your a more lenient parent then most, or maybe you don’t have kids. Everyone has different parenting skills. Just because this author finds Carl’s Jr commercials offensive, doesn’t make him overbearing. Have you ever been addicted to anything? I can tell you from experience that it wasn’t my parents fault for teaching me to avoid sex that caused me to have problems. And I do blame the media for it being EVERYWHERE! Also, occasionally my family has eaten at Carl’s Jr. I’m neither single, nor male. And, if families weren’t also a targeted demographic, then they wouldn’t have playrooms.

      • I never accused anyone of being overbearing, I suggested that it wouldn’t be helpful in matters of guidance for his children. You’ve read into (assumed) way too much after reading my post. My issue (as I said below) is Cj’s should not be expected to be a role model for your kids, you are. Regarding pedeophiles; how did you get from scantly clad women eating burgers, who may or may not pollute your child’s mind depending on your course of action, to that? to me, that seems overbearing and extreme. Playrooms are an amenity, not a call to action ad. It’s a different (cheap) type of advertising. Trust me, if families were their preferred market, Bozo the clown would be doing their commercials. Those commercials cost millions to make, and bring in tens of millions. Without those commercials, they’d be out of business, as playrooms don’t ignite the desire to spend like sex does. Sad fact of life I suppose. (for some)

    • kzobes

      Sheltering is different than common sense. You mentioned there are large amounts of inappropriate behavior that we’re subjected to, I agree and I don’t think this is much different. How much violence is directed towards women? How many eating disorders happen because of unrealistic expectations, with our young men as well as young women? Children are being kidnapped from their schools and forced into marriages! How many people in the world would love to be able to walk down the street without fearing they’d be raped just because they were a woman walking down the street? And here is America selling hamburgers with mostly naked women romping around because it is so fun. I think it’s pathetic that with all the human rights issues in the world, instead of being leaders, country basically turns it all into a joke. For hamburger sales.

  • Ems

    I don’t patronize them anymore because of their advertising. I see no need to line the coffers of a business that stoops to those levels.

  • LWS

    Love the point made in this letter to Carl’s Jr. Thank you for speaking up for all of us parents working hard to raise good kids. We are parents of an 11-year-old boy and we also boycott Carl’s Jr. and their commercials in our home. I don’t need provocative ads pushed in the face of the son we are trying to raise to be a good, upstanding man who respects women.
    Research has shown that most children are exposed to pornography as young as 11-years-old today. That hits home hard when you have young kids, and we certainly don’t need any help from Carl’s Jr. sending kids down the wrong path. It doesn’t take much more than one exposure to those trashy commercials to put thoughts in the minds of young boys, as well as to influence young girls as to what Carl’s Jr. deems “acceptable”.

  • LWS

    Hey, just a suggestion here… Why don’t we all start a campaign to write Carl’s Jr. It could be (kinda) like the ice bucket challenge… Write Carl’s Jr. an email, then call, text, or email three friends to do the same! Obviously, the domino effect of this kind of effort can have huge payoffs. (I just wrote them and plan to ask three others to do the same.)

    • That is an awesome idea!

    • CaliforniaMom

      Parent’s Television Council is a great resource for letter writing campaigns. Here’s a link: http://w2.parentstv.org/main/Action/Center.aspx
      I don’t think they have a campaign for the new Carl’s ad, but they may. They have been successful with other campaigns.
      Another good one is Porn Harms.
      They have also seen a lot of success with letter writing campaigns.
      Both organizations make it easy to submit letters online.

    • Victor Aguayo

      I just sent an e-mail to Carl’s Jr website. I have felt the same way for a long time, but I feel that if they go out of business due to bad marketing then the rest of the world would be better off. A plan that is accepted by the CEO of the company to sell sex in place of food makes me question what they put in there food. A company with bad ethics is going to make bad choices when it comes to other things as well. Just a thought.

    • Primary Carrie

      I already have. Lets innundate their facebook page? I’m sure they have one.

    • aggiewrench

      An alternative is to raise your children to discern what is appropriate and they’ll take care of the rest to please their parents. If you shield them how will they know how to behave when they are alone and confronted with something that maybe inappropriate?

  • Brent Miller

    I have felt like writing a similar letter. I have been disgusted by their commercials for a long time, but now they have really gone way beyond. I don’t let our kids watch bad shows and I don’t watch them either. The other day my 4 year old says to me “I want to watch a show.” and then in her innocence she says “one with nobody naked and no guns”. Since I don’t let them watch those kids I wasn’t quite sure why she was stipulating this and she basically described the Carl’s Jr. add that I always try to turn the channel when it comes on. CARL’s JR, if a 4 year old knows it’s wrong, you should know better as well!

  • Sharonh

    Thank you for writing this letter. I wrote one to Carl’s Jr. a few weeks ago when I first saw this commercial. They didn’t seem to care one bit about my complaint. We, too, will not eat at their place now.

  • Cherie

    Can we copy and paste this awesome msg to carls her headquarters. Maybe if enough people complain they would pay attention.

  • Adam

    Interestingly, I never see those gorgeous women eating their food when I go to their restaurants.

  • Charles

    I desire not to see these commercials as well. I used to work in Anaheim in the early 1970’s and liked Carl’s really well then . I live in the St Louis area now and have Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. a mile away. I like the food and the people but I do not like the current add campaign. I am old enough, have been around enough and have raised a good sized family now with a plethora of grand children having no desire to see trash as commercials. Recently was at a Burger King in St Louis having lunch which was showing CNN. I don’t care for CNN but really became alarmed when they aired a segment about the gay and lesbian community, showing only the physically beautiful ones. I went to the manager, complained and indicated they would do better to have a different news station on. I told him had I had children with me I would have stood up we would have exited the premises. Do not go there even now. Hardee’s/Carls needs to listen to their customers

  • AJ Tommy Guns

    Hey Greg…….Carl’s Jr. has disgusting food! I do agree with your letter though but dude….their food IS NOT good.

  • Sierra

    Thank you so much for this! I had never seen these commercials before so I looked one up. I could not believe it! How could they show that on public television?! Thank you for standing up for what you believe in!


  • Tawnya

    Their “burger porn” campaign started years ago, as did my boycott.

  • veronica wood

    Greg Thank You a million times, you just spoke for our whole family. We stopped buying anything from Carls Jr ever since we saw the first sexual comercial that they have posted. I highly disrespect the company and wouldnt go near one of their restaurants. I am so grateful for people like you who stand for family values and let Carls Jr know how unacceptable their comercials are, it discusses me to see how low a food chain restaurant has gone to sell their product. At the end it will backfire at them, families will stand by you and morality

  • Rachel

    Hey Greg,
    First and foremost I have actually never commented on a blog or even written a review on yelp for that matter. However, I was so compelled by your letter that I felt it necessary to comment and thank you. Thank you for standing up for your family, thank you for fighting for your daughter and not only your daughter but your wife as well.
    I am a 25 year old woman who is married, but I do not have any children yet. As much as I want kids I already know that battle that lies ahead and destroys my heart even having to think of how hard I will have to work to raise a daughter who knows she is beautiful, smart and worthy. I too grew up in Southern California and struggled to become ‘that’ girl constantly feeling not good enough, feeling that men are all after one thing and not pretty enough. The struggle is real and more often then not parents believe that they’re kids are too little to understand, and maybe they are, but those images stick and when they are old enough they will remember and obtain the meaning behind those images.
    Thank you for your integrity and never stop fighting for the women in your life.

  • Camille

    Can you write one to Hardee’s too? Same exact thing! Porn! The one with Paris Hilton. It’s awful! We don’t watch any TV, hardly ever. And that commercial makes me know that we are doing the right thing by not having it on. I definitely don’t want my 6 year old to see it, or my husband. So sad what this works is coming to!

  • Tiffanie

    The moment I saw the latest commercial, I started Boycott Carl’s Jr. … on Facebook. Please join the page and raise more awareness I appreciate the power that we all possess if we can just speak up! We have a voice and I believe it is louder than the voice of the wicked!

  • openupyoureyes

    Lesbianism? So if it were a guy and a girl in the video would it make it okay? And what is your idea of what a woman should be? I really don’t want to be told what I “should” be by some homophobe man.

    • Lori Rodriguez

      Misreading much?

  • camille

    Can you write one to Hardee’s too? Same exact thing! Porn.The one with Paris Hilton and another girl. It’s awful! We don’t watch TV, hardly ever. And that commercial makes me know that we are doing the right thing by not having it on. I definitely don’t want my 6 year old to see it, or my husband. I don’t even want to see it! So sad what this world is coming to! Thank you for writing this. PS: You just inspired me to call Hardee’s and on their automated system, the first option was to comment on their commercials. After you select that, it says something like they are “experiencing high call volumes. ” That makes me think that lots of goods people do complain and they don’t care because they still have outrageous commercials, some of which have been banned because they’re so horrible. I didn’t have time to wait on hold. But I plan on doing my part and either calling back or writing a letter. Thank you!

  • Cindy

    This article is fantastic. I’ve been boycotting Carl’s Jr for years now. I straight up refuse to give business to a company that flaunts porn as a marketing ploy. I believe that porn is a plague in our society. It erodes self worth, relationships, and families. I will do everything I can to protect my children, and since it is a plague we avoid it as such. To me, that means avoiding Carl’s Jr, until such a time that they change their marketing tactics.

  • Amy

    I think it has less to do with what we “responsible” parents are teaching our children, and more to do with those who are never taught. If we continue to look away and expect society to slow down on its downhill moral decay, it won’t. At some point to help everyone collectively, we have to stand up and say it isn’t right. You were asking about the magazines in check-out aisles–I call the store and ask them to cover them. If they get a handful of people who call, they will cover the magazines. I do it in part for my kids, but also for all of those kids who don’t have advocates. Collectively we have to work together to build up our morals instead of letting companies dictate what they are.

  • Kathy Tam

    Thank you Greg. All the commercials do for me and my 16 year old daughter is make us uncomfortable and angry. I don’t like sitting next to my boyfriend and watching these super models suggestively eating a big sloppy burger especially since they probably go off camera and make themselves throw it back up as soon as their are done. Just another promo for bulimia as well.

  • Mimi

    Anne, I also quit eating their food in 2005 because of the Paris Hilton commercial. I contacted them back then, and the response was basically that they didn’t care. A friend of mine contacted them yesterday, with the same response. It’s unfortunate. If they showed a little creativity they could sell their food without using pornography. It’s unfortunate. I will continue to refrain from eating their food. I refuse to support that kind of campaign. And I refuse to let my children be exposed. I can’t protect them from everything, but if I know Carl’s Jr. feels this way about the garbage they are putting out, I can at least keep my kids away from them. Thank you Greg for addressing this. The trashy commercials all over TV are part of the reason my husband and I got rid of cable years ago. I can’t stand that my young children’s eyes aren’t even safe whlie watching family programming. I am glad to hear that I’m not alone in my disgust with this kind of marketing. Thank you for being a voice that needs to be heard.

  • Nicole

    I totally agree! I haven’t eaten there in years because of their commercials. Thanks, Greg!

  • Amanda

    I am disappointed at the ads that you described,sounds just trashy .I went to a carls jr in salt lake and the food and service were really good,and for a good company to advertise like that isn’t necessary. I also agree that sex isn’t needed to sell burgers and we don’t need to see naked women to drool over a juicy looking burger no matter the age or gender .I would have told my child that ladies don’t normally prance around naked that ,bodies can be pretty but it doesn’t make you more attractive or a better person if you flaunt you body in such a way . Thank you for taking a stand .

    • Goober

      The commercials show the burgers dripping with sauce. False advertising. Whenever I get a burger from CJ, it’s dryer than the desert! I have to go ask for more sauce. P.S. I am sickened by the trashy commercials.

  • borox

    I don’t see anything wrong with the commercials either
    Tiger Woods

  • Aaron T.

    Let’s break down your arguments, get ready for a long read…

    Your idea sports are filthy just because somebody was fined “only” $12,000 for flipping the bird is totally ridiculous. I’ve seen many sports and have never once seen somebody flip someone off and have never heard and profane announcers. I have seen small amounts of unsportsmanlike-conduct but that is rare and generally very mild. I would bet that you watch nothing that is more clean(in the sense of sexuality, violence, and vulgarity) than the average sport match. You, sir, are the hypocrite.

    You assume that the author isn’t already teaching his children to be responsible and preparing them for adulthood. There is absolutely no evidence of this.
    You then blame the author for not teaching his children to change the channel if there is something inappropriate. If you read the article there is evidence that he, in fact, does teach them this very thing.

    You recommend that they should have left the restaurant or moved to avoid the commercial. Okay, that’s fine. But, it’s completely ridiculous that you believe that it’s fine to live in a society where your only options are to allow your children to be bombarded by sexually explicit content or to never go to a place that has a TV.

    Your implication that there is no place on the internet without sexualized images is false. I’m constantly surfing the internet and only run into sexualized content when I’m browsing sites that I already know have that, like Youtube. I just went to yahoo’s main page and found absolutely nothing that’s on the scale of these Carl’s Jr. ads.(But then again, I do have an excellent ad blocking add on that blocks all ads on internet sites. Anyone interested can just google “adblock” and you’ll find it if you use Chrome or Firefox)

    You are correct in that there are many explicit advertisements and images in stores and all around. This is an unfortunate reality. I’ll give an analogy that hopefully makes sense. I’m going to use the example of drugs, but you can imagine anything that you don’t want your child to be involved in. Let’s say that you don’t want your kids to do drugs and you teach them all about the harmful nature of drugs and why they should avoid them. Let’s say that drugs are socially acceptable and are sold in every store, even in the little vending machines at your child’s school. If you want your children to avoid drugs and are rightfully teaching them to do so, does it makes sense to buy a bag of weed and frequently take it out to remind everyone in the house about it and spark their curiosity? The constant reminder and temptation within the walls of your own home are unnecessary and even dangerous.
    By the way, just seeing women in bikinis is not inherently sexual. You can go to the beach without even one dirty thought if you have a clean mind. Commercials like Carl’s Jr.’s, on the other hand, not only have scantily-clad women but they portray the women in a sexualized fashion through their use of camera angles and focus, music, tone, the positioning and movements of the models, etc. It’s easy to go to the beach and not have your mind wander into explicit thoughts, but it’s much more difficult to avoid that while watching commercial like Carl’s Jr.’s.

    The problem is both society’s disturbed view of sex and many parents’ failure in teaching their children correctly. But, a parent can do everything correct and the children can still have problems with it.

    Oh, and while I highly doubt that responsible parents that don’t want pornography pushed on their small children is the minority, your final statement only demonstrates your own hate and ignorance.

  • Leslie Fry

    Appreciate this letter more than you know. Thank-you. Well said. I am a facilitator for an Addiction Recovery program that is run through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through training I have been through I have found out that addiction to pornography is the fastest growing, most prevalent addiction in the US right now, and addiction to pornography can begin as early as age seven! It is shameful that they are allowed to get away with this, and that pornography is now being brought right into our family rooms, like it or not.

  • SD

    Amen! I feel uncomfortable with my own boyfriend while trying to watch the cleaner shows on History and Travel Channels etc and this trash come on. We need to clean up the filth in this world and this is definitely one way start with.

  • Molly

    Thank you!!!! We have a family of 8 and stopped eating there years ago because of this issue. I have emailed them twice and got a response that stated their sorry I don’t agree with the way they advertise but aren’t going to change it. I believe a majority of their patrons are mom’s with kids that are running errands during the day or “soccer” moms by night that are too busy to cook. You would think they would try and cater to our demographic?? I don’t think young men eat there as their first option. With teens of my own I know they like new, hip places with fresh options, none of which have scantily clad women on their ads. We spend about $75 on average a week for fast food (kind of sick I know) but all that money has been going in Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Subway’s pockets. We use Carl’s Jr.s commercials as a way to teach our kids about how media blasts us with sexual images, even fast food, and how they can empower themselves and take a stance. I wish Carl’s Jr. would open their ears to what people are really saying about them. We aren’t the only ones in our social networks to ban their franchise. It is spreading like wild fire!

  • Rachel

    Thank you for this post! I just wrote to CJ and I won’t eat there until they change their advertising. It’s extremely offensive and I don’t want my hard earned money going to support porn.

  • Missy Allred

    Greg, thank you for articulating so well what many of us think and feel. For far too many years advertising execs have tried to slip in a little “sexiness” to commerials but it has gone from subtle to overt and they should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t appreciate the fact that suggestive advertising is no longer relegated to late night hours, as it once was, so our children and grandchildren are seeing images that are grossly inappropriate for them. Heck, they are grossly inappropriate for me to view and I am 63 years old! You can’t un-ring a bell so as you stated, once viewed an image is stored. I think it is sad that crassness has seemingly become acceptable and all things of virtue and morality are ridiculed and belittled. Thank you for taking a stand, which hopefully will resonate with enough of us to make a difference!

  • Sue M

    I agree completely with your letter! As a wife and mother, it is appalling to see what Carl’s Jr. has been putting out for commercials. We as a family will not support them any more, and probably have only been to their establishment once in the last four years because of these commercials! Carl’s Jr. should be able to stand on their food as their advertisement, it is or was good, last I tried it. They would have at least six more patrons if they would change their ways!

  • Shelly Carter Jordan

    Just like you, our family has been without Carl’s Jr food for ten years now since we saw there first commercial. People love their food and I am glad to know that we aren’t the only ones who decided not to eat there after we saw one of there inappropriate commercials. The big difference between us is you spoke up and by doing so you have inspired me to speak up for my beliefs and values.
    Thank you for helping me see what the power of one can do in the world.

  • Shawna

    I would have to agree 150% that their commercials with the women are disgusting and a total disgrace to us women. I am shocked at the women who agree to do these commercials. It actually makes me want to not eat there after I see a commercial of theirs. This type of advertising is unnecessary and sells sex not food. Leave something to the imagination for goodness sake. If they really feel this is what they need to sell their food at least put some good looking men doing the same as the women. Honestly that wouldn’t even do it for me but hey whats fair is fair.

  • who cares

    your an idiot! I could care less about his grammer… that’s not the point! Really?!!!

    • Lisa Nutter

      It should actually be “You’re an idiot!” Just sayin’…

    • ed hewett

      Sorry, you had me at “could care less”. How much less could you care about his grammar?


      Seriously though-we’ve never had TV in our house (as a kid and now I’m a parent) because of TV commercials and we also choose not to eat at restaurants with TVs.

      The old way of mass marketing (e.g. via TV commercials) is dead but unfortunately the less clever marketers haven’t caught on yet.

  • thejonz

    Bravo! I could not agree more. I haven’t eaten at Carl’s Jr. for several years now – since they first started their suggestive advertising for the same exact reasons you mention in your blog. Thanks for writing it!

  • annette

    Finally someone besides myself has spoke up…I feel exactly the same way and have not eaten in a carl’s Jr. Since their Hilton commercial aired…..lost all respect for the company and what it stood for…my children and friends have also taken a stand….I hope Carl’s is proud of what they have accomplished..

  • Marilee Cottrell

    I appreciate anyone with a moral compass. Not only for themselves, but for their children, as well. Shame on Carl’s Jr., Hardees, the media, the networks, the television crews, writers, producers, actors (and I use that word very loosely), and the consumers. Bless you, Mr. Trimble. Thank you for standing for something!

  • Ginger

    Don’t feel like you ever have to respond to this comment. Just know that there are so many people who are thankful for your articulate thoughts and who are proud of you — even without knowing you. Thanks for reminding boys that there’s much more to a woman than her body, and for reminding those sweet little girls that they are so much more than what they look like. God bless!

  • Jennifer

    All I could think while reading this was “AMEN!” My family (including extended family- over 75 people) stopped supporting them years ago too because of the commercials. It’s a shame. Definitely tweeted them.

  • janandy

    I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with everything started here. We, and many of the families we know, stopped eating at Carl’s after the first Paris H. commercials. There had been a lull in the pornography for quite a few months, however, and we were feeling maybe there was a change in philosophy, and we could safely venture back to a previously valued eating spot, that happens to be at the end of our favorite walking path. And then, alas, these current commercials, which are the worst yet! We have tried to leave a comment on their company website, but there is never anyplace for customer feedback.
    So many families we know are dissatisfied with McDonald’s, but obviously Carl’s isn’t after that lucrative family trade. We like their food, and their convenient location to our home, but no, we won’t go back!

  • Anna

    High rape and such violence is because of pornography use. These commercials are pornography. Research shows that pornography is linked to high reports of rape ect. Go to PornHarms.com and look for yourself.

    • SD

      I can arrest personally to that.

  • Alberta

    It is my belief that when we shield children from the idea of sex and all sexual material, we assume that they are sexual. They are not. Sex is a concept to them. Not a feeling. And making it mysterious and taboo is what creates an unhealthy obsession with it. My twins toddler around while we’re watching TV. We don’t censor it. If they see a commercial or movie sex scene, it’s fine. Because they don’t know what it is. It is benign. I don’t even mind if one or both of them grows up to make a commercial like that. Because, first, I believe there is nothing wrong with lesbianism, and second, them being in charge of their sexuality is the goal, rather than them being afraid of or embarrassed by it. I want them to feel like sex is normal. Because it is.

  • Kristin

    I would be HAPPY to get on board with trying to get these commercials off TV. We just recently had a group write and protest some very risqué billboards in town (for a gym) and they got taken down. We had to target 1) that they were “obscene” (this could make it illegal) 2) affects kids and 3) how it negatively affects women’s correct view of health. Some of these might work for this too. I’d protest and sign a petition!

  • Carolyn Gough

    Perfectly stated! I’m lovin’ it.

  • Kym Bowers

    100% percent agree with your letter! Such a shame for Carl Karcher to have his legacy to his family and the world in general tainted with this filth. They also lost me starting with the Paris Hilton commercials. In our town there is a Carl’s Jr. and a Jack in the Box in the same shopping center parking lot. I would much rather support Jack’s based on their family friendly media campains even though to be truthful, the food is better at Carl’s Jr.

  • Lori Rodriguez

    My friend is the neighbor of the granddaughter of Carl’s Jr’s founder. She started telling her about this 6 yrs ago. It is a shame all around. They do have great food.

  • Ed Hart

    Greg – you are spot on! My wife and I will no longer eat at Carl’s, which does suck, because I actually love their food, and like you, it is so convenient. But enough is enough. My kids are grown, but now we have 4 grandsons, who in the next few years will be very influenced by the media. I do not want this in their lives, or my home.

    Sorry Carl, but it is back to Mickie D’s, Del Taco, and Taco Bell for this grandpa. I really hope this eventually backfires, but it probably won’t.

  • Tasha

    Here is the generic response Carl’s Jr is sending to those who leave feedback on their website’s “contact” button. They believe their advertising is “creative”. Bologna! The idea that “sex sales” is the least creative and basest strategy on the planet.

    ‘Thank you for taking the time to share your comment with us. Our goal is to make every guest happy, every time!

    We regret that you were displeased with our advertising promotion. �CKE Restaurants, Inc., owner and franchisor of Carl�s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, adopts a creative approach to our advertising. We do not aim to offend anyone with our efforts, but merely to offer entertaining content. We understand that not everyone may view our advertising the same way, so we respect all views and welcome all comments. �Your feedback is very important to us.

    Please feel free to contact us again at any time.’

  • Sweet Pea

    I tried to pin this letter to Pinterest and it won’t allow me to. Can you add a ‘pin it’ button so it can be pinned. Let’s make this viral!! I have been banning them for a long time and have been actively voicing my disapproval of them and their advertising. Thank you for voicing what we are all thinking!! So great to hear it from a male perspective.
    Let’s all be heard!

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

  • Does this make any sense and did you read the article?

  • manderz93

    U read my mind I have two small children and it makes me sick if I knew where to start I would go against this kinda stuff and fight for it to be changed! Its sad if you have via truly good product sex is not the way to sell it it makes infedility OK adultery, 12 yr olds having babies. My children will not be allowed to go to public schools, have you ever watched 19 kids and counting tale a second to watch it see how they raise their kids but the kids aren’t rebelling they love reach other their first kiss is the big kiss at their wedding day! I am going to raise my children they way they do now watch married with children (yes one is real and one is scripted ) but look at the scripted one ( wife is lazy and uncaring, husband is rude, portrays family life as bad and miserable he drinks and chases demon, and the kids, daughter is stupid skinny blonde harlet, and son is bad and nasty (sexually). I know I’m writing more than just the commerical , but the commercial is my last straw, yes we are supposed to control what they watch but we cant expect the commercials, but most kids cartoons are horrible and portray bad things. I would like to go further than writing just a commercial . but I’m so happy you wrote this! I complain to husband so much about this commercial his ears about to fall off lol.

  • George

    “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” This is the definition of “porn.”
    First off, by definition, the commercials are not actually pornography. Yes they are sexual and yes the show a lot of skin. Sex drives most of us to do a lot of things and to deny that is just stupidity. Instead of preaching “hind the female body! Don’t be porn!” why not worry about your daughter’s emotional well being in how the commercial will affect her body image. This is objectification of women that is the issue. Instead of toned skinny mostly white girls, can’t we see women of all body shapes, comfortable in their own skins, enjoying a good burger? Hey, why not some men while we are at it?
    They are bikini wearing women which she will see if she ever decides to go to a public pool or a beach. *gasp* you mean, we let porn walk around?! Yes. We call it the human body.
    Sex and the human body are part of everyday life, and with out it, you would not be here to write this “letter.”
    PS Please use an ellipsis properly. It is NOT an acceptable substitution of a comma. One more thing, there is no difference between male and female nipples (both can lactate), and a nipple should not be considered “porn.” We only do because we sexualize female breasts.

  • SD

    I have a great idea. I’m gonna put minimal clothing on like the porn stars in the commercials and go in a Carl’s Jr and mimick the commercial to the best of my ability and see what they do. Now how many of you think I will get thrown out?
    Instead of Super Star burgers they should be called Porn Star burgers.

  • M

    I was all for this rant…but I think it’s okay to be a lesbian and it’s okay to show your body to world. I’m not arguing with you, you made some very valid points and I completely understand and agree with the other aspects of the argument. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  • Michele Brown

    Thank you! My husband and I stopped eating there about 7 or 8 years ago because of the commercials.

  • Phillip


  • FYI, in some parts of the US, Carl’s Jr. goes by the name Hardee’s. This is important because Hardee’s airs the exact same commercials as Carl’s Jr. People should also be writing to Hardee’s, too.

  • jean

    If Carl’s Jr doesn’t care if some people dislike their commercials, how about the TV shows? Will they care that they are loosing viewers because of this commercial?

  • PJ

    whatever sells their junk food, they will do, get over it. long reign capitalism and the 1st amendment.

  • Lindsay Clark

    One of the reasons that we have the highest rates of rape and sexual abuse in the world is because we make it easy to report. It’s not because we actually have more sexual violence, but when women go to the police to report rape, they are believed, and assisted. How would you feel if it were your daughter or your sister in that commercial? Would you feel uncomfortable then? Would you enjoy watching that commercial if it was your friend’s wife/girlfriend? The human body IS beautiful, which means we shouldn’t demean it by cheapening that beauty in voyeuristic commercials celebrating the overt sexualization of women. Why doesn’t Carl’s Jr. have a commercial with men acting that way? Because they are sexist troglodytes who prefer seeing women as objects rather than humans with brains, hearts, and feelings.

  • Wendyo

    Hate those commercials. Haven’t eaten there since they started. Take your kids to Pedros for their breakfast burritos. Wish we could get those off the air!

  • Erica Cable Meyer

    Amen! I havent seen the Carl’s Jr commercial because around here they are Hardee’s but its the same thing. I wrote them expressing my outrage. Good for you for speaking up! And you said it so eloquently.

  • Sarah Conder

    Thank you for calling a spade a spade! I remember when they first started the “if it doesn’t get all over the place it doesn’t belong in your face” campaign, and I could see the humor in that, even through the messiness. The “it looks like a baby….shaving” was HILARIOUS to me. Then they took it further and started insinuating extramarital affairs. And now this new junk that thankfully I have never seen. At least not the commercial you reference. I remember the Paris Hilton ad, and there may have been a Jessica Simpson one too. It’s just too much. It IS pornography, and the damage from it is devastating to families. It gives men and boys a false idea of what women should be and focuses only on the physical aspect, not allowing any deeper relationship or connection to develop. It gives women and girls an unattainable standard to attempt to live up to. It destroys self-confidence and positive self-image that our girls desperately need. Our society is oversexualized. I’ve seen it. I’ve been in the clothing stores that sell and market provocative clothing to girls no older than 8. Girls that should be innocent and carefree but are now worried about attracting the attention of boys. It is really a sad state.

  • Tiffani

    Thank you for standing up to this company. You don’t have to be a parent, a woman, or church member to know that what they are doing is wrong. We have all been affected by their advertising even if we don’t recognize it. I have posted your article on Facebook with the suggestion that “as a nation, we ought to boycott Carl’s Jr. until they can clean up their act.”

  • Barbara Jensen

    I so agree! I watched your commercial a few nights ago and was appalled at what I saw. Thank you Greg for voicing what I was thinking!! We need more people to stand up and voice their opinions when we are being assaulted by this! Your burgers are great but your advertising is over the top. Please stop!

  • Ben Mara

    Soooooo, my “objectifying you to sell the screw drivers and pile drivers and…uh…screws at my hardware store isn’t a problem for you? So sad.

  • Benmara

    Sheltering is bad? HUH? I shelter my children from the next door neighbors, on the left, dog. She, approx. 1.5 feet high, will bite anything (thankfully my neighbors are decent and have reinforced the fence properly–uhm, sheltering the rest of the neighborhood from their dog). I do not shelter my children from the 125 lb. 3.5 foot high MASTIFF on the right-hand side, as he is as gentle as a stuffed teddy bear…all the neighborhood children love to pet/play with him.

    Let me guess– sheltering BAD, BAD, BAD, so you live outside (bereft of shelter) in the cold snow, burning heat, torrential rain, etc? Shelter BAD– so you wander the streets naked– especially in a hail storm? Give all your bank account and PIN numbers to strangers to avoid being sheltered? Mustn’t shelter your health or body– drink any bleach and arsenic cocktails recently? Inject yourself with heroin? Stab yourself in the eye with a red-hot poker? Check the gas level in your tank with a lighter? Jump from an airplane without a chute? Play in the middle of a busy 3 lane highway during peak travel time (please, feel free…)?

    I could probably write a million reasons to shelter myself, family and children, but I’m guessing you’re too foolish to be worth the effort.

  • nicole

    Thank you! This is the exact reason I stopped eating there when these commercials started. God bless you!

  • Michelle

    I also wrote a letter to the company, pretty sure they really don’t care and have lost a family of customers, guess that’s not who they want to serve. Great article.

  • Amanda

    Anne, I received one of those cards every Christmas eve when Carl would come by and visit my grandmother. He would always sit there, with his VERY LARGE hands in his lap and tell the story to us about how he started Carl’s Jr. I agree with you completely and feel that he is extremely disaproving in the direction the company has chosen to go with their advertising.

  • mememe

    I am so glad to know Im not the only one that finds these ads offensive. My husband and I were convinced that a teenage boy took over the company. I turn the channel every time one comes on so my kids cant see it. Im so disgusted with Carls Jr and so happy to see theres more people out there that feel the same way.

  • Kathy Washburn Bunn

    Hi Greg, as someone who doesn’t watch TV, this is the first I’ve known about the Carl’s Jr. commercial, and I feel a little sick just reading about it. Do you know which sports channel the commercial aired on? If you do, you might consider writing them, too. Let them know that they risk losing viewership from sports-fan families out there, if they air commercials that alienate women and mar the innocence of children.

  • DZ

    I also emailed Hardee’s and received a “form letter” reply. I told them I would not patronize their business because of the offensive ads. Maybe if enough of us do this, things will change. I applaud the letter on this blog!

  • dee

    I agree completely. I wish I had not seen some of these ‘commercials’ … it feels really disgusting, and degrading, I hate the food chain because of these ‘commercials’.

  • June J

    I agree, I stopped eating at Carl, Jr a few years ago when they started those type of commercials.

  • Georgette Soares Bailey

    Their commercials are nothing but soft porn. I wouldn’t even want to see them in a Victoria’s Secret ad, but I certainly don’t see the connection to burgers(?) Ads can be harmful and misleading to young people. If those models actually ate those burgers they’re pretending to eat, you can be sure they would not fit in those bikinis for long!

  • LYoung

    Thanks! I agree 100%. I have not eaten at Carl’s for years in my own private boycott specifically because of their commercials!

  • Casey Jorgensen

    Bravo Greg! Thanks for saying what I was thinking. I hope you don’t have a lot of critics, but if you do, don’t let them bother you. You’re doing the right thing. I’m sure you’re busy so don’t worry about responding. Just wanted you to know, I think this is awesome. THANK YOU!

  • Dyan

    This is so well said. I sent an email years ago when I saw the direction they were heading. It was sickening. I never received a reply and they have been pushing the envelope ever since. Where does it end? Kids are so impressionable and as parents we have to take up this fight! I’m sharing this letter and hope it will continue to gain momentum!

    • ToroNation

      This was my response when I sent an email a few weeks ago.

      Dear Mr. Standage,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your comment with us. Our goal is to make every guest happy, every time!

      We regret that you were displeased with our advertising promotion. �CKE Restaurants, Inc., owner and franchisor of Carl�s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, adopts a creative approach to our advertising. We do not aim to offend anyone with our efforts, but merely to offer entertaining content. We understand that not everyone may view our advertising the same way, so we respect all views and welcome all comments. �Your feedback is very important to us.

      Please feel free to contact us again at any time.

      Tieisha Coe
      Carl’s Jr. & Hardees Guest Relations
      On the Web at http://www.ckr.com

  • Yes!! Very well said!

  • Mari Bionaz

    I have not gone to Carls Jr since the Paris Hilton commercials. I have written to the corporate headquarters many times to no avail. I just get a form letter saying something like we are projecting to the young audience and don’t really care about complaints. I have posted many times on FB regarding the commercials hoping to get back to the corporate headquarters. I totally agree with you that the commercials are not in good taste and what are they trying to sell, burgers or sex. Keep up the good work in regards to stopping Carls Jr and their commercials.

  • Tracy McDiarmid

    Its ridiculous that because in some communities folks don’t accept European sensibilities that we “fear the human body.” There is no “fear” of the human body, but respect for it, respect for the little girls that have visuals of how a girl is can get guys to look at her, respect for the little boys that are learning what they should want to see in a girl. I’m pretty sure that sex is not taboo here, based on what I’ve seen popping up on my TV on a regular basis.

  • Shelby

    Thank you so much for writing this article. As a 25 year old female, I am devastated by what Carl’s Jr. depicts us to be. These commercials have put a fire in my soul for years, especially as an athlete, and a friend and sister of girls with eating disorders. Clearly, this is not the only contributer to these issues, and elimination of these ads will not solve it all, but can we please try to at least keep it out of the minds of our precious and involuntary youth? I want my future daughters not to go through the same painful bodily obsessing and my future sons not to value women for their sexuality over the beauty of their souls. I’m up for some change here, just tell me where to sign!

  • Gail Kelley

    Greg, thank you for posting this! Your letter was so well written. I don’t often respond to things like this, but I was very impressed twith your words. As a mother and grandmother, I know how hard it is to raise children without that kind of influence being thrown in our faces and at our children. We don’t have Carl’s Jr. in our area, but I know what it must be like to have your children watching an appropriate show and then have a commercial, such as what you’ve described, pop up. We certainly don’t need any “help” from outside sources to have this kind of negative impact on us, much less on our children. I’m sure the founders of the company are probably so disappointed in how things have gone over the years. I like the idea of the “awareness campaign” of challenging friends to write to the company. If enough people would do this, it can make a difference.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your family values. Our families are the most important of anything that we could have! Keep up the good work!!

  • I can understand being irritated by these commercials – but I think what Carls Jr is selling as food is a far bigger problem than the scantily clad young ladies in their commercials.

    I find it amusing when fast food chains feature attractive people in their commercials as for the most part attractive people don’t eat fast food. It’s garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Brian in COS

    Funny thing is, I find the Jack in the Box commercials with the office lady bobbing for apples with Jack and his male co-worker flaunting what appears to be cat calls to the female bent over the barrel with her head in the water but we the audience were directed to the new hot & spicy Jack in the Box burger at their company picnic. I find this more offensive than any Carl’s Jr commercial I have seen.

  • Brian in COS

    What get’s me with Carl’s Jr these days are the 2 for $3 Famous Star coupons which really are not $3 + 5% tax, but are $3 + 33% tax for using their coupon. At least at the Falcon, Colorado Carl’s Jr, thats what they are pulling. That is legalized highway robbery.

  • K.Keppel

    I have banned Carl’s Jr for the past 10 years because of the way women have been betrayed in their commercials. Women have come such a long way, but have taken 20 steps back in the last decade. So sad.

  • rickigoodfellah

    They are marketing to pubescent males who consume this carcinogenic laced garbage. The commercials reflect the pottage they heap out!

  • sarah

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I didn’t know I had to be subjected to porn while watching regular television. Other fast food restaurants are quite successful without degrading women in their advertisements. This is not the message we should send to young girls and boys. Hopefully this issue continues to garner attention so we can stop these commercials.

  • Grace Nielsen

    Thank you for the ability to put into words what I have been thinking for a long time.

  • rsmryb

    I agree with Greg. Good points.

  • Carolyn

    Their food is as bad for the body as their commercials are for the soul. It is refreshing to see a father willing to take a stand. Your daughter is a lucky girl.

  • Kim Haskell

    You are a stud, I love this post 🙂 Well said

  • nikitis

    I agree with you on that things like this shouldn’t be. In my religion I’m taught to live in the world and not of the world. This statement basically means that the world is sometimes too big or too powerful and beyond your control to do anything about it. Much like this article. We are unfortunately beyond fixing things like these, but however it will be good for your blog as people will unite around you in your beliefs as I have. Just that it will not change the fact that sex sells. That phrase exists for a reason. My first statement also means that you still have to eat. Carl’s Jr may be the only option for some people and they will continue to eat their foods, but they don’t have to watch the commercials. And also be sure to teach your kids first what’s right and wrong before the TBV Ads do. That’s what being a proper parent does.

  • Kristi Licea

    I would certainly sign it as I have already signed many of their petitions and they really get things done. change.org is a great way to make a big difference all at once

  • Trevor

    So Greg, I agree with very little that you write on your blog (especially on Mormonism), and I even disagree with some of your reasoning for opposing Carl’s Jr. However, I do not appreciate this Carl’s Jr. ad campaign either. It has nothing to do with me being Mormon. I don’t even think you need to be a prude to see the problems here.

    I’m the father of an energetic 2 yr-old daughter, and I’m deeply concerned with objectification of women, whether in a Carl’s Jr. ad, in church modesty rhetoric, or anywhere else in society at large. This ad campaign or anything like it runs strongly contrary to the values I intend to teach my girl as she gets older, and any man who finds no problem with such objectification won’t be fit for her either.

    Although I fit into the ad campaign’s target demographic, I never eat at Carl’s Jr. But so long as they keep up this kind of portrayal of women, I won’t start, either.

    Women are not objects. I’ll stand with you on that.

    • Trevor! Thanks man. It says something about your character that you can disagree with me on most things but still have the openness to stand with me on others. Thanks a lot!

  • amen

  • Patti H

    My whole family stopped patronizing Carl’s Jr. after the Paris Hilton debacle, which aired right in the middle of family show American Idol. I was appalled! And I had the same response: Their target audience is men ages 18-35. Therefor, they don’t want my money. I haven’t looked back since.

  • Primary Carrie

    I love that you wrote this. I know a lot of people who have quit going to Carls Jr. because of their porn messages. My daughter grew up seeing them on television and now she is is college. She refuses to eat there. The teachers I work with refuse to eat there and so do I. You must be making a killing catering to single men, but they are paying a heavy price. Carls Junior, and the people who shop there, are sending the message that women are sexual objects, but exposing children to your porn is just downright tacky, and crude. Maybe we should start staging some protests in front of your restaurants?

  • TBFeller

    No person better than the one who suggests it.

  • Danielle

    Brittany, you don’t think addiction to pornography is a disease?

    • calmo

      By calling it a disease, you’re relieving them of the responsibility to control their own behavior. It’s no different from any other moral issue: by giving in to the lust repeatedly, they sear their conscience. It’s also like exercising no control over acting out anger; it’s a choice a person makes to give in to whatever emotion strikes him; and instead of determining that he will control his emotions, he permits his emotions to control him. So, DON’T ENCOURAGE THEM BY TELLING THEM IT’S A DISEASE!!! THAT’S JUST A TICKET TO PURSUE IT FULL BORE!!!

  • C.K.

    Right on Mr. Trimble,

    My husband and I do not have cable in my home for the same reasons! But, we also cannot even go out to eat without a TV up and on. I will no longer be eating at Carl’s Jr. It is not much for just me and you to stop eating at Carl’s Jr. but if I can get one other person to not eat there because of the sexually explicit “Commercial” and that one person can get another another person to not send their money in you establishment we are on the right path.

  • C.K.

    Right on Mr. Trimble,
    My husband and I do not have cable in my home for the same reasons! But, we also cannot even go out to eat without a TV up and on. I will no longer be eating at Carl’s Jr. It is not much for just me and you to stop eating at Carl’s Jr. but if I can get one other person to not eat there because of the sexually explicit “Commercial” and that one person can get another another person to not send their money in that establishment we are on the right path.

  • tmaple55

    This is the same idea I had. We should do it.

  • Russ

    I totally agree. Women are more than a piece or entertainment. They also are there for the home making and child-rearing. Oh wait, most are out trying to act like men these days…and/or like the women in the commercials you’re talking about. No, most men aren’t any better in this “great” country either. What you see on TV is a reflection of the stupidity of the general populace. Sad but true.

  • Kathy Hasty Rutledge

    Bravo! I’ve been offended by and complaining about the soft core porn commercials for some time now. I, too, will begin a letter campaign and urge everyone I know to do the same. They’ve just gone too far over the line!

  • Holly

    I know I am tardy in commenting..but Carl’s Jr couldn’t care less if you contact them and complain.I did years ago when I was offended by their commercials,and they actually rudely responded and in a nutshell said we’ll do what we want,that I was a minority, and if you don’t like it, don’t buy from us.It was unbelievable.So I have not patronized them since.I don’t know if anyone remembers or not..but many years back when a customer complained,they actually made a commercial about him complaining..making fun of and diminishing and bashing the guy. Why would anyone want to give their money to a company so callous, offensive and non-concerned with what the very bread and butter of their company thinks? The only way you will stop the forward movement of this garbage is with your pocketbook. Words don’t mean anything to them.The only thing that may get their attention is if they start taking financial losses,as people en masse stop spending money there.

  • Ashleigh

    I agree 100% with what that letter has to say, i dont eat carls jr at all and my husband wont either since they started doing those terrible commercials. i dont understand why they have to sexualize everyone men and women alike because their latest commercial is of a man sitting on a car and though it isnt as sexual as te womens commercials i still feel awkward and uncomfortable when it comes on i just dont watch those channels at all anymore and because of the filth on TV my family only watches DVD’s where we know the rating and what we find acceptable to our children. Thank you Greg for writing that letter. i think if more people whould do that maybe one day it was make a difference in the world and how it views both men and women.

  • Dear Greg, I had to let you know that Doug Giles who is the Big Dawg at http://www.ClashDaily.com wrote an article about the Mormon twin sisters who founded “Beauty Redefined”, and who are also calling on folks to boycott Carl’s Jr.’s hamburger joint because of their adverts with this models. I respect him for many of the things he stands for, but I think he just ran out of things to talk about on this one. This article was without merit. Thank you for all you do, my friend. Anne Garfield hit the nail on the head.


  • Syrie Marcum

    Yeah, I don’t see how women dressed in minuscule outfits is “humor”-ous??? I’m the mother of three adult daughters. I know of only ONE way to say this to Carl’s Jr: YOUR COMMERCIALS OFFEND ME & MY ENTIRE FAMILY; WE DO NOT FIND THEM FUNNY. I DO NOT patronize your restaurants because of them! If enough of us stepped up to the plate & took a metaphorical swing at them, by not spending our money there, maybe they would stop with these offensive commercials! Really, I know that “sex sells”, but McDonald’s seems to make plenty of money by not undressing for the camera.

    • Suzanne

      When my dad wrote a letter complaining about the commercials,
      he received a form letter response (from a woman by the way) stating that the company does not intend to offend anyone, but strives to make creative and entertaining commercials. Well, I’m sure they are entertaining to teenage boys and a lot of men without daughters!

  • Angry Elf

    Thank you for your article. I also have a daughter and I cringe at how women are used to sell hamburgers by this chain. I would love to see a national boycot.

  • Steven

    Would the creative genius that came up with this trashy commercial view it the same way if the two women were his mother and wife or wife and daughter?

  • Brea

    I Started The Change.Org petition that some of y’all suggested below. I saw that it was suggested but was never actually created. Please feel free to send me feedback or add anything. I was fed up over this recent super bowl commercial and now I am officially done with Carl’s Jr and want to do all that I can to at least stop the darn commercials from being aired during sports and on family friendly channels. Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know. Please!


  • Rick Whiteford

    When I first saw one of their filthy commercials I looked their number up and called and complained and said I wouldn’t eat there anymore and that I was disgusted by what I saw because it had nothing to do with their food. They seemed indifferent and didn’t really care what I thought. What a shame that they would do what they have done. Thanks for sharing Greg.

  • msheets1

    Go sign the change.org petition for this: https://www.change.org/suggested?alert_id=&petition_id=3130431&use_rendr=true. Very cool.