This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 25, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Burger chain Carl's Jr. is using Paris Hilton (search) to lure a young crowd. But the Parents Television Council (search) has a beef with the hot new ads. It claims the ads border on soft-core porn. But the big cheese at Carl's wants the group to butt out. CEO Andy Puzder is quoted as saying that the PTC should get a life.
On the phone with us right now from Carpinteria, California, is the executive vice president of marketing for Carl's Jr., Brad Haley.
Brad, what do you make of all this fuss?
BRAD HALEY, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CARL'S JR.: It's been a wild cup couple of day, that's for sure.
CAVUTO: Did you know that you would get this reaction?
HALEY: You know, we really didn't.
CAVUTO: Brad, Brad, Brad, come on, tell the truth. You knew exactly what...
HALEY: I think when Paris goes down to the corner to get a carton of milk, it makes the news. So, we knew this would certainly get the attention by featuring her in our advertising. But I think, in spite of that, it's definitely exceeded our expectations.
CAVUTO: How much do you pay her for this spot?
HALEY: You know, we haven't disclosed that, Neil, but I can tell you it was a fair price, I think, for how much the ad has been run already.
CAVUTO: So, when you sold it to her, you said, we're going to put you in a skimpy bathing suit and we want you washing a Rolls and then eating a burger, and she said, all right?
HALEY: It was sort of like that, yes.
CAVUTO: Really? OK.
So, here's what I got. You knew you would get this reaction. But I think you're crazy like a fox. I think your core audience, who are young guys, who would literally eat this stuff up — I'm talking about the burger — and they loved it, right?
HALEY: Oh, absolutely. Yes.
CAVUTO: So, what about — what about young women who might say, no, this is bad?
HALEY: You know, well, the thing about Paris and one of the reasons that we were interested in using her, besides the fact that she's got this line, "That's hot," that she uses and we have got a spicy barbecue $6 burger that's spicy and hot, too — and that was sort of the initial idea the agency had for using her. But, in addition to that, she's just an amazing, amazing figure in terms of her interest value among not only young guys — who see her as probably just an attractive young woman — but among young women as well, who see her as sort of a style-setter.
CAVUTO: But what if your some of your stores are protested and whatever benefited attention you got from all of this is wiped out by others, who say, I will never go to another Carl's as long as I live?
HALEY: Well, you know, there seems to sort of a generational gap on this reaction to this ad.
Young people have sent us many, many e-mails and called us, saying that this is the best ad they have ever seen. And more from sort of their parents or grandparents' generation, they have objected to it.
CAVUTO: All right.
HALEY: And, really, it's the younger guys that drive, that fuel the fast-food economy.
CAVUTO: All right.
HALEY: And we don't release our sales results, but we're pleased with what we are seeing since the ad started running.
CAVUTO: OK. Brad Haley, thank you very much.
HALEY: My pleasure, Neil.
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