Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are ditching the bikinis and getting back to the burgers, the AP reports. The chains are famous for advertisements featuring models and celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kate Upton, and Emily Ratajkowski munching on burgers while scantily clad. A new commercial for the chains shows the imagined Carl Hardee Sr. taking back control of the operation from immature son Carl Hardee Jr., with Carl Sr. ripping down photos of swimsuit models and putting up framed pictures of hamburgers. The chains are now calling themselves "pioneers of the great American burger."
USA Today notes the sexy ads were meant to appeal to the restaurants' "hungry young guy" audience, with the recent change reflecting a desire to expand its core customer base. The company's racy advertising campaign had a defender in Andrew Puzder, who's stepping down as CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings, the chains' parent company. (Puzder withdrew as President Trump's nominee for Labor secretary last month.) In a phone interview with USA Today, Puzder acknowledged that even though the old campaign garnered "a lot of attention," the chains have to "more directly and convincingly" talk about the actual food that's served. (Read more Carl's Jr. stories.)