No Comment: Carl’s Jr Exec Discovers Turkey Is a Country

Thursday night used to be my happy night, thanks to the reigning queens of comedy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (NBC’s Parks and Rec, 30 Rock). But lately that perfect happiness has been marred by a Carl’s Jr. commercial:

Yes, it sells turkey burgers by showing the actual Miss Turkey–Gizem Memic–in a bikini. And helpfully explains this strategy in a voiceover:

To help you remember our delicious new charbroiled turkey burger, we hired Miss Turkey. To help you remember Miss Turkey, we put her in a bikini. And to help you remember Miss Turkey’s bikini, we had it designed with little tiny pictures of our charbroiled turkey burger. [Cue zoom-in on breasts, crotch].

In addition to sounding like a Marketing 101 homework assignment scribbled on a cocktail napkin by someone who has just read that “sex sells” (and that there is a country named Turkey, like the bird!), it manages to imply that women are only memorable when nearly-naked. And that their sexualized bodies are tools for selling burgers. And that stripping is a failsafe way to get male attention. And, and … I’ll let you take it from here.

It’s just the latest in a line of supposed-to-be-so-bad-they’re-funny-but-actually-just-bad Carl’s Jr. ads that Gawker has dubbed “Slutburger.” If you’d like to become a vegetarian, you can watch them here.

Tell Carl’s Jr what you think via web form or call 877-799-STAR (7827).


Jessica Stites is the former associate editor at Ms. magazine. Today she's the editorial director of In These Times, where she runs the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and edits stories on labor, neoliberalism, Wall Street, immigration, mass incarceration and racial justice, among other topics.