Veteran Copywriter Claims Carl’s Jr. CEO Once Dismissed a Pitch for ‘Colored People’

By Patrick Coffee 

Some of the biggest news in the Real World outside the ad industry today concerned Andy Puzder, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s CEO who Donald Trump all but promised to nominate as the next Labor Secretary of this country.

We know that Puzder, a former lawyer, strongly believes in the power of sex appeal to sell fast food and that he wants to try completing automating locations in which “you never see a person.

Today one agency creative claimed that he might also hold some retrograde attitudes about race.


In a Facebook post this afternoon, a freelance copywriter who has worked at KBS, CP+B and 180LA, among many other agencies. recalled an incident in which Puzder allegedly implied that Carl’s Jr. didn’t want its messaging to be, as some might say, “too urban.”

According to the now-deleted post, Puzder was reviewing ideas from creatives but dismissed one “because it seemed like it was more for ‘colored people.'” The copywriter then responded, “What the ____ did you just say?” as an unknown party asked him to leave the room.

Now we have to wonder what the idea in question was, exactly. We reached out to the writer, but he didn’t elaborate on the story and later deleted the post.

Puzder once famously said of the controversy that sometimes follows Carl’s Jr. campaigns: “If you don’t complain, I go to the head of marketing and say, ‘What’s wrong with our ads?'”

The chain’s agency of record 72andSunny did announce plans to part with both of the brand’s creative directors in October in what we were told was a response to the client’s desire to move away from its their notoriously softcore tone.

The next set of spots were all about quality ingredients, but they didn’t get nearly as many clicks as Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.