No appetite for Carl's Jr.'s racy ads: Sisters call for boycott

Carl's Jr. grilling up controversy
Carl's Jr. grilling up controversy   

Carl's Jr.'s ads featuring scantily clad women are designed to grab the attention of its targeted clientele—young, hungry men—but two sisters are now calling for a boycott of the burger chain because they say those ads objectify women.

Lexie and Lindsey Kite, co-founders of Beauty Redefined, told CNBC's "Closing Bell" they have launched a social media campaign targeting the company.

"We definitely target media that … treats girls and women as a compilation of body parts, as something to be used and consumed and then discarded and that's definitely what Carl's Jr. does with women in their advertisements," Lindsey said.

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They certainly aren't the first to call out Carl's Jr. for its ads. The Parents Television Council has been criticizing the restaurant chain's parent company, CKE Restaurant Holdings, for years over its exploitative marketing tactics.

A Carl's Jr. restaurant in San Bruno, Calif.
Jeff Chiu | AP
A Carl's Jr. restaurant in San Bruno, Calif.

However, the sisters, who both hold a doctorate in the study of media and body image from the University of Utah, believe they can make a difference with their social media reach.

"I think we are just giving voice to something that people think and feel but don't really have the right words to articulate," Lexie said.

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In a statement to CNBC, CKE Restaurant Holdings said, "The women in our award-winning ads are intelligent, talented and beautiful professional actresses and models. We have only the greatest respect for women and their contributions to society at all levels in business, at home and in the community. We regret that everyone may not view our advertising the same way."

The company also noted that its ads are targeting a specific audience—"young, hungry guys."

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Lexie Kite doesn't think all men will bite.

"There are a lot more 18-to 35-year-old men that actually look at those commercials and say 'I believe women are more than just pieces of meat to be consumed and I want to let my voice be heard,'" she said.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. CNBC's Crystal Lau and The Associated Press contributed to this report.