Back in March, resistance to Andrew Puzder’s nomination for Labor Secretary forced him to step down from his position as CEO of CKE Restaurants. CKE owns fast food giants like Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. They employ thousands of workers. Puzder is infamous for opposing wage increases and better workplace conditions. He is also an unabashed sexist (he’s the guy behind those offensive Carl’s Jr. ads featured scantily clad models eating massive cheeseburgers.) With his departure, we hoped CKE would turn over a new leaf.
By the looks of their recent ad campaign, we may have been right. Gone are those dehumanizing “hot girls with burgers” ads. In a brand new commercial spot, the fictional “Carl Hardee Sr.” reclaims the brand from his inept son. The misogynism that was at the center of the brand is replaced with a renewed focus on quality food and service. Check out the commercial below.
We think this commercial and brand makeover is a great start. CKE can continue to distance itself from Puzder by raising wages for staff. They should work to improve workplace conditions. CKE should work eradicate the rampant sexual harassment we reported earlier this year. Only then will the rehabilitation of their brand be complete.