Andy Puzder Credits Himself With Toning Down Sex Appeal of Carl’s Jr. Ads

The ex-CEO said in an interview that the new change in direction for CKE Restaurant ads started in 2015

He claims that “young hungry guys aren’t as affected” by the “sex sells” mantra anymore.

This week, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s unveiled a new marketing campaign, sans sexualized women — a commercial hallmark of the brand for the past decade. But even though it looks like CKE Restaurants took on this new direction after Andy Puzder was ousted as CEO, he claimed in a recent interview that the change in direction was his idea back in December 2015.

“The reason I changed them is because back about a year ago, in December 2015, I went to our ad agency and said ‘Look, young hungry guys aren’t as affected by the racy ads with swimsuit models because you can get a lot of that on the internet now,’” Puzder said in an interview with Fox. “Young guys today, the millennial young guys, are concerned with where do you source your beef, what kind of cooking system do you have? ... You and I certainly may like the ads we’ve been running a long time, but … the situation has changed.”

He then hinted that one day the racy ads could be back, but for now: It’s all about the ingredients.

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Puzder famously defended his objectification of women in an interview where he called beautiful women in bikinis “All-American.”