This is an archive of the old Stones Cry Out site. For the current site, click here.

« Justice Souter's Property to Be Seized? | Main | The Founders' Cornerstones »

June 30, 2005

Sex Sells ... Or Not

Looks like sex didn't sell as well as they thought it would.

The hot controversy over Paris Hilton's sexy burger ads for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's has not translated into a surge of sales at the fast-food outlets.

CKE Restaurants, parent company of both chains, says Carl's Jr. posted a 1.7 percent rise in same-store sales for the four weeks ending June 20, while Hardee's notched an increase of 0.7 percent.

Yes, Andrew Puzder (president & CEO of CKE) is putting a positive spin on it, suggesting that people who came in asking for "the Paris Hilton burger" would not have otherwise purchased anything at all. That's a bit of a stretch. Looks like, at most, this may have increased the demand for Paris Hilton video on the 'net, but it did virtually nothing for sales.

Meanwhile, Boddie-Noel Enterprises, which owns around 330 Hardee's franchises, says they're not going to run the ad in their area (four southeastern states). This is the first time they've done that, and it may not be the last.

The conventional wisdom is that all publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right. It's possible that it's time to unlearn that.

Posted by Doug at June 30, 2005 12:56 PM

Trackback Pings


My wife refuses to let us eat at CJ anymore because of that ad. It was my son's favorite fast food place. They lost about $25/mo from us I imagine. Sunny says all the moms at school (Collin is in a private Christian school) boycott CJ as well.

Posted by: Rick Brady at June 30, 2005 01:05 PM

You do have very good points. I would note only that Puzder didn't bring that up, which would have easily refuted the charge that the ad fell flat. Best he did (the linked article mentions this) was note rising sales for the past 2 years, and suggest that the lack of the "newness" factor of the advertised sandwich may have contributed to the poor sales.

Posted by: Doug Payton at June 30, 2005 03:58 PM

Note: While deleting comment spam tonight, I accidentally deleted the first comment to this post. I believe it was from someone named Grumpy Guy or something similar. I apologize. It was an accident. Could you do us the favor of reposting your comment if you read this?

Mark Sides

Posted by: Mark Sides at July 1, 2005 01:28 AM

The essence was that without comparison numbers, the data contained in this story don't support your thesis, nor any other one for that matter. Comparison numbers would be sales data for comparable chains, or year over year data. If similar chains had drops in sales, or bigger increases, you would have some basis for evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign. Personally, I think a 1.7% rise in same store sales sounds good, but maybe that's just normal flux, or an early summer effect. Thanks to shoddy reporting, we don't know.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 6, 2005 05:20 PM