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Indybay Feature

Carl's Jr. Drops Ads After California Italian-American Groups Protest

by Steven Maviglio
Stereotyping of Italian-Americans as Mobsters, Garbage Men Leads to End of Promo Campaign for Chicken Sandwich
The California Italian-American Task Force and the National Italian-American Federation today applauded Carl’s Jr., for discontinuing its advertising campaign for a new chicken parmesan sandwich that depicted Italian-Americans as mobsters and garbage men. The Task Force said Carl’s Jr. has promised to end the ads, which aired prominently during the World Series, this week.

"We are pleased that Carl’s Jr. is yanking these advertisements that are offensive to the Italian-American community and our heritage," said Bill Cerruti, chairman of the California Italian-American Task Force, a state council representing more than 1.5 million Californians of Italian-American heritage and 300 Italian-American advocacy organizations in the state. "In our diverse state where Italian-Americans have made significant contributions to our culture and heritage, these type of ethnic and racial stereotypes have no place on the airwaves. We're pleased this campaign is going the way of the Frito Bandito and Jello-O's Chinese baby ad of the 1970's."

“NIAF was pleased to see the positive steps taken by Carl’s Jr. Restaurant to remove negative, inaccurate and unfair characterizations in their recent commercial advertisements. These advertisements only fuel further incorrect assumptions about an entire ethnic group. The Foundation is committed to promoting a positive image of Italian Americans and removing falsehoods that perpetuate ethnic, racial and other discrimination,” Jeff Capaccio, Esq., NIAF Regional Vice President in the Far West, said.

"We do not aim to exclude or offend any other groups with our efforts, but merely to appeal and amuse a very specific audience," said Beth Mansfield, Director of Public Relations for Carl’s Jr. "We understand that not everyone may view our advertising the same way so we respect all views and welcome comments and feedback. To this end, please know that we have decided to not extend our current media buy for the Parmesan Chicken Sandwich. The commercials will be off the air later this week."

The Italian-American Task Force contacted Carl’s Jr. last week and asked they discontinue the ads. Company officials were quick to agree to pull the promotion, says Cerruti.

Also to be discontinued would be a Facebook quiz that allows consumers to answer mo related questions to determine which infamous “made guy” they are most like at heart.

The ads can be viewed on the Carl’s Jr. YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/carlsjr. They were prepared by Los Angeles–based advertising agency Mendelsohn|Zien.

Carl’s Jr. has licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,205 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,915 Hardee's restaurants.

The California legislature recently passed ACR 89, which designates October as Italian American Heritage Month. The legislation, sponsored by the Italian-American Task Force, was coauthored by Assemblymembers Anthony Portantino and Cathleen Galgiani.

The California Italian-American Task Force is a state board appointed by the Governor to promote Italian-American culture and recognize the contributions of this community to the state’s heritage.


Related Categories: California | Racial Justice
by reality check
speaking of garbage men, just what do they put in those dead cow burgers? pig intestines, horse bones, cow fat, steroids, antibiotics, pig shit, assorted scum and other tasty treats?

Does anyone who reads news on IndyBay actually care about Carl's Jr or eat their shit food?

Doesn't Maviglio have better things to do, like shill for the corporate democrats who feed from the trough of fast food mega corporations who pollute land and water while murdering caged animals?
by diana in indiana
Guess this means Carl's Jr. cares about the Italian-American customer. Too bad they didn't care about the conservatives that objected to the Paris Hilton commercial. They lost me as a customer when they said we weren't the kind of people they wanted to draw to their restaurant anyway. I NEVER go to any of their restaurants after that statement!!!
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