Friday, May 27, 2005

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A very important post about..... Paris Hilton's food porn

When we last left the topic of food porn, the staff here at was gently mocking the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) for awarding this label to the Hardee's/Crl's Jr. Monster Thickburger, pointing out that:

[T]heir decision to label all Thickburgers as 'food porn' guaranteed that they would earn sound bites, but the effect might be the opposite of what they intended. I gotta think that if a consumer sees something with that label, it will pique rather than retard their interest.

From the comments to that post, it was clear that many readers were eager to eat the burger out of sheer bloody-mindedness because of the CPSI's excessive preachiness on the topic.

One wondered, however -- riling a group like CPSI works only once in generating the kind of necessary buzz. Which group could Hardee's/Carl Jr. manage to rile up in order to secure the appropriate payoff?

Which brings me, of course, to Paris Hilton:


What you see above you is a still from the new Carl. Jr.'s ad for its new Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger. Click here to see the ad running on the Carl Jr.'s site, and here to see an extended version of the ad -- as well as.... commentary by Ms. Hilton herself. [How would you describe the ad?--ed. Er.... Paris Hilton doing a really bad job of washing a Bentley and an OK job of washing herself. And how would you describe her interview?--ed. A major turn-off. Hilton describes her outfit in the ad as a "bikini." For God's sake, the one thing she's supposed to actually know is fashion and she can't even use the proper term?]

According to Lester Haines of The Register, the new ad caused the Carl Jr.'s website to crash from traffic overload (read all of Haines' article by the way -- wickedly funny).

Newsweek's Jonathan Darman reports that the usual suspects are not pleased with this ad:

The Paris pictures were news because the Parents Television Council (PTC), an influential broadcast-decency group, wants the ad banished to late-night television or off the airwaves altogether. The ad "meets the exact definition of pornography,” Tim Winter, the group’s executive director, tells NEWSWEEK. “Families shouldn’t have to be subjected to that.”

CNN gets an even better quote from the PTC:

"This commercial is basically soft-core porn," said Melissa Caldwell, research director for the PTC. "The way she moves, the way she puts her finger in her mouth -- it's very suggestive and very titillating."

Wow, that's hot. Note to self... check out the PTC web site more often.

Meanwhile, Carl's Jr. is just delighted by the PTC's ire:

Carl's Jr.'s message to the PTC: The group needs to "get a life," said Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl's Jr., a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants. "This isn't Janet Jackson -- there is no nipple in this. There is no nudity, there is no sex acts -- it's a beautiful model in a swimsuit washing a car."

Puzder says he has shown the ad to his three children, ages 12, 9 and 7, and they have shown no signs of being corrupted. "Maybe people are excited because it's Paris Hilton, but there are far worse things on television that these groups should be worried about," Puzder said.

So far Puzder has managed to aggravate the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Parents Television Council -- both to brilliant PR effects.

However, one wonders whether Puzder has run out of useful fools. Readers are strongly encouraged to suggest the next watchdog group that Puzder will provoke in order get more associations of his food products with porn.

posted by Dan on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM


Typical soft-core. We never really see her eat the burger.

posted by: Appalled Moderate on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Why is she supposed to know anything about fashion? I thought all she was supposed to know about was how to avoid having any scruples about selling yourself.

posted by: Dantheman on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Drawing on the "heart attack on a plate" imagery from years ago, they should have referred to the burger as "food snuff porn."

posted by: Adam Kotsko on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

There's more on the Center for Science in the Public Interest here.

As with organizations like, for instance, the ACLU or the SPLC, they gain credibility by being used as quote sources by the MSM. If, however, they do have links to Gardenburger, then their pronouncements might be a bit self-serving.

posted by: on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Actually, she's not really selling herself. At least in the sense that she doesn't need the money.

America's fascination with this vapid skank is a continuing source of mystery to me ...

posted by: Anderson on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Carls' could contact any of following individuals and organizations for negative comments to good effect.

Rick Santorum
Ted Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Hillary Clinton
Al Qaeda
The Taliban
The Amish
Bill O'Reily
Al Franken
Larry King

Getting the endorsements (exdorsements? anti-endorsements?) in about this order would ensure maximum anti-outrage consumption.

I know I'd eat a burger to tweak just about anyone on that list.

posted by: Ray on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

I think that if an art student turned in a drawing, photo, sculpture, or anything else of someone who looked like Paris Hilton, he'd get a C-, even at a grade-inflation university. Yeah, she's starved herself, and dyed her hair, but she ain't cute.

posted by: Andrew Steele on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

If these people were really all that upset about television in general, they'd change their tune from responsible TV to No TV.

Otherwise, I see them as a bartender at an AA meeting, encouraging everyone to drink, but drink responsibly.

And she's a skank anyway; Carl's Jr will soon be over ran with skateboarding youth, pierced and tatooed slackers and, . . wait, they already are. Oh yeah, that's why I don't go there.

posted by: Ray G on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Well sure I clicked through to see the ad, but I'm still mystified as to why Paris Hilton is so "it" these days. The figure is fine but about as sexy as if it were made from plastic -- she's about as hot as an inflatable sex toys. The superbowl chick was way way hotter, and way funnier too.

posted by: Gene on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Yeah, she's no Mandy Amano...

posted by: Polybius on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

leave her alone she is hot. Everyone wants to be her or they want to do her. This burger will sell like crazy just because Paris was in their comercial. Carl Jr made a smart move by putting paris half naked in the comercial

posted by: Kezza on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Unless she came in nearly naked -- her usual style, it seems -- Paris Hilton wouldn't turn a head in 90 per cent of the bars in this country when she came in. The others are biker hangouts where looks aren't a big item. Her IQ looks on a par with her waist size. Famous for being famous -- doesn't that sum her up. Imagine how her parents feel.

posted by: Jerry on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

Let's see, now that we've done CSPI and PTC, how about the NRA or maybe MADD?

Yeah, MADD, that's it! She could sell beer while *driving* her Bentley -- that'd get 'em all riled up!

posted by: Klug on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

I gotta agree with Jerry, Gene and Ray G.

When she sticks her finger in her mouth, I didn't find it at all erotic. If anything, it was kind of like entering Grand Central at rush hour.

posted by: Randy Paul on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

My first thought on groups Carl's Jr.'s needs to provoke is PETA. To do that, they could start selling something made from animals!

posted by: PJ/Maryland on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

"suggest the next watchdog group that Puzder will provoke in order get more associations of his food products with porn"

A coalition comprising Rick Santorum, Katrina van den Heuvel, Frank Rich, Ward Churchill, Arianna Sullivan and Martha Stewart. (Why Martha Stewart? -ed. Why the hell not?)

btw Paris's hips a re filling out a bit. An effective message to anorexics on the benefits of Carlburgers. Another micromarket cornered.

posted by: thibaud on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

What happened to her hip, ass, or boobs? Oh! She got none. If you think she is hot, you need to get out more often.

Salma Hayek... on the other hand...

posted by: Minh-Duc on 05.27.05 at 10:18 AM [permalink]

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