In a rather strange interview with The Associated Press, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, offered some insight into what makes the ideal candidate for a Carl’s Jr. ad — the time-tested, scantily-clad format launched in 2005 with Paris Hilton.
For starters, CEO Andy Puzder believes that his company has been responsible for launching the careers of many young models.
“We have a history of picking these young women before they hit their peak,” Puzder told the AP. “We put Kate Upton in an ad a month before she got the cover for Sports Illustrated. At the time we picked her, we just said, ‘This is a beautiful woman.’”
And yet, although the company is happy to work with the right “age relevant” celebrity, not everyone is a good fit for the brand.
”It depends on a lot of interlocking factors, and what products we're promoting. First of all, you really need to be able to eat the burger like you're loving it. We don't want somebody that's going to go out there and say, ‘Well, I don't eat burgers.’”
Some people, like Kim Kardashian West, for example, turned out not to be burger-eating types.
“We used Kim Kardashian in an ad,” said Puzder. “But Kim really couldn't eat the burgers. Luckily, we had a salad we were promoting, so we used Kim in the salad ad. But if we had not been promoting a salad, we probably never would've done an ad with Kim, because she wasn't good at eating the burger. She's too tiny. She's really little.”
A representative for the reality television star disputed this explanation to the AP, saying that a salad ad was chosen specifically because “Kardashian had a fitness DVD and wanted to eat something that fit with her brand.”
We may never know what really happened behind closed doors, but Carl’s Jr. can probably say goodbye to any future endorsements from Mrs. West.