Machipongo, VA - Earlier this week a Columbus, Georgia resident saw a
horrible TV ad promoting Hardee's chicken products. She immediately
called the company's regional marketing director to urge that the ad
be pulled. Robert Gilman, marketing director for the Hardee's
franchise in Columbus, GA, Albany, GA, southern Alabama, and part of
Atlanta, told her "We'll pull the ad."
Today, when the offended viewer called back, Gilman told her the ad
"will be off the air starting tomorrow." The ad, first used to
promote Carl's Jr., a California chain owned by CKE Restaurants,
which also owns Hardee's, shows a group of 5 men dressed as gloved
"scientists" examining a live chicken in a prurient search for "meat"
parts including an implicit anal search of the bird. The ad evokes
vivisection, gang rape, and playing with a helpless victim prior to
Last January, United Poultry Concerns launched a campaign against the
ad, which drew an article in the Los Angeles Times on January 16,
after California residents protested to our office and unavailingly
to CKE Restaurants. The company blew off our charges, while
supporting them in a letter from CKE correspondent Peter B. Espinosa,
Jr. on January 25, stating that the "nuggets" ad targets their "most
frequent customers . . . the young male audience."
Comments by CKE Marketing Vice President Robert Wisely and
Mendelsohns/Zien CEO Richard Zien further show the contempt for
animals and women to which the "nuggets" ad appeals. Robert Wisely
told Carol Adams, the author of The Sexual Politics of Meat who
called to protest, that she had a "crazy, limited viewpoint"; and
Richard Zien bragged to Adweek about receiving 5,000 angry e-mails,
"I was quite amused by it."
"Adults concerned about the effect of 'adult' entertainment on
children and teenagers should think twice about this chicken
'nuggets' ad, which shows pleasure in taunting a helpless creature as
foreplay to slaughtering her," says United Poultry Concerns President
Karen Davis. "CKE Restaurants and Mendelsohns/Zien are selling not
only dead birds but a desensitizing macho mentality. We look to
Robert Gilman, who has shown decency towards our concerns, to keep
his word about pulling the ad 'starting tomorrow.' "
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information visit