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Once again a franchisor ad campaign stirs up controversy. And at least one franchisee is taking umbrage with the new ad campaign. Unfortunately, this franchisee is Hardee’s largest.
Boddie-Noell Enterprises, which owns nearly 350 Hardee's, is refusing to run the ads, which also are drawing fire from the Parents Television Council.
The ads ask customers to help name the sweet treats, and offer suggestions such as "iced B-holes." In one ad, customers doing taste tests are asked to choose between the "A-holes" and the "B-holes."
In a letter to the council, Boddie-Noell chairman Ben Mayo Boddie wrote that he won't allow the ads to run in any markets that it controls, and that he has asked Hardee's parent, CKE Restaurants of California, to drop the ads everywhere. – NC News & Observer
For the franchisor, this is the best of both worlds: the ad campaign is not aired in the "bible belt" market, but the controversy gets widespread media attention and the core 18-34 Male demographic crucial to the QSR franchisor will not only be more likely to hear about the ad campaign (and see it on YouTube) but also the very fact that their fuddy-duddy elders are outraged enhances the appeal of the ad campaign.
North Carolina is home to many military bases, colleges, and the liberal "Research Triangle" area. It is also a heavy market for Hardees, and the advertising agency has previously been savvy in baiting advocacy groups to multiply the impact of their ad campaigns.