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Stampede to watch 'soft-core' TV ad

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Paris Hilton punts burgerOver-excited males flocking to see a controversial TV ad featuring highly-talented heiress Paris Hilton cavorting in a bikini atop a Bentley with a sponge, a hose and a Spicy BBQ Burger brought down the Carl's Jr. website specifically set up to promote the soft-core meatfest.

According to Reuters, the company's servers went down quicker than Hilton herself as a stampede of men rushed to ogle the "seductive swimsuit-clad socialite doused in suds". The offending ad - promoting the Carl's Jr. Spicy BBQ Burger - premiered on US TV last Thursday. It features Hilton generally making a fool of herself with the aforementioned accessories before tucking into a juicy Carl's Jr. burger, while singer Eleni Mandell's "sultry version of Cole Porter's 'I Love Paris' pulsates throughout". Phwooooar!

Why on earth anyone would bother checking out Paris Hilton with her clothes on is anyone's guess, since practically every bloke on the planet has seen her going at it like a two-bit hussy in the highly-regarded "Paris Hilton gets naked then gets shagged senseless" internet skinflick.

Still, Carl's Jr. will doubtless be delighted at the coverage it's been getting for the commercial - or will it? The LA Times reports that the whole exercise may backfire on the burger chain if outraged viewers from the Parents Television Council (PTC) manage to mobilise themselves in defence of decency and the American way of life.

PTC research director, Melissa Caldwell, thundered: "This commercial is basically soft-core porn. It's inappropriate for television." Actually, she's right - it is basically soft-core porn. Whether or not it's suitable for TV is a matter for debate and ultimately the Federal Communications Commission.

And if the campaign does survive the onslaught of scandalised parents, what are the other implications for Carl's Jr? Well, Peter Sealey, adjunct marketing professor at UC Berkeley, reckons that "although the ad might be remembered by viewers, it might ultimately hurt the Carl's Jr. brand".

Sealy told the LA Times: "This is the ultimate in bimbo advertising. If you are Hooters and you have buxom young waitresses, that's fine. But Carl's Jr. is more mainstream. They've got families going in there."

Which is, as we all know, a complete load of cobblers. Paris Hilton gets down and dirty with a sponge, the whole thing kicks off in the media and before you know it you've got a boardroom full of execs looking very pleased with themselves.

Not, though, as pleased as Paris looks in the ad. As well she might - the Carl's Jr. Spicy BBQ Burger is absolutely enormous... ®

Bootnote

You can judge for yourselves here. The servers were down for four hours over the weekend, Reuters says, so don't blame us if you can't get an eyeful of Paris.

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