A few weeks ago I was having a burger at Carls Jr. when a woman with a clipboard approached me and asked if I minded answering a few questions. Actually, I was anxious to talk to her about the fast-food restaurant because of some concerns of mine.
Although I think they make a good burger, their advertising is in very bad taste.
She said she was being paid by a marketing research firm to determine what I thought of a new chicken product. I explained to her that I have never tasted a fast-food chicken product and probably never would.
I spared her my heart-breaking saga of being raised with chickens and not particularly fond of them, dead or alive.
So after some pleasant conversation, I told her I was hoping she was going to ask me general questions about the chain and that I could get a message to the people responsible that Carls Jr. advertising was simply terrible.
She said she had a number of people wanting to express the same sentiments but it just wasnt on her to do list of opinion gathering.
Within days of that encounter the fast-food chain hit the airwaves with another sexual TV ad that lowers the bar even further. The ad features a blonde by herself in a convertible at the drive-in movies enjoying one of Carls Jr.s burgers.
The ad was designed to titillate.
And, in some way, Im playing into the corporations hands by mentioning it in a column that is circulated widely on the Central Coast.
It makes me glad I dont have children at home watching television.
I know that as parents it is our job to regulate and monitor what our children watch on television. But sometimes ads such as this one just pop up on the screen without any kind of warning.
Judging from the general content of television programming being piped into our homes, nothing is taboo anymore.
Where are the FCC standards? Did they go out the door along with dress-code standards for high schools? Swearing is becoming all too much a part of the scripted dialogue along with excessive violence and graphic realism in the mode of the cop/murder/forensic genre.
Reality TV, of course, is equally bad, having hit a low a long time ago. Yet just when I think it cant get any worse, it does.
But a reality show about people behaving badly has some level of anticipation by the viewer that it is going to be bad.
An ad for a hamburger, however, isnt expected to show up as a piece of soft porn.
Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly four decades. He can be reached at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.