President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, CEO of CKE Restaurants Andy Puzder, is proud of the sexy, sexist ads for Hardee's and Carl's Jr. chains. The company's racy commercials often feature bikini-clad or otherwise skimpily dressed female models and celebrities, from Kate Upton to Kim Kardashian, eating burgers.
"I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American," Puzder told Entrepreneur in a 2015 interview. "I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality."
Puzder's "personality" will join the ranks of Trump's misogyny administration as head of the Department of Labor, which oversees issues related to pay equity, employment discrimination and workplace conditions, among others.
A recent example of Puzder's company's brand strategy is a July 2016 Carl's Jr. commercial for the "Bacon 3-Way Burger" featuring three models wearing bikinis cooking and eating sandwiches in a sexually suggestive manner to the strains of Dirt Nasty's song "Threesome."
Puzder became CEO of CKE Restaurants in September 2000, and since then Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have released a slew of racy commercials that included Paris Hilton washing a car in 2005 and Kim Kardashian rolling around on a bed with a salad in 2009.
"It's an appeal to youth, so it really reaches a broad demographic," Puzder told Entrepreneur in the same interview.
"My son's now 17, but when he was 13 he didn't want to eat at 'the king' [or] 'the clown,' he wanted to eat where his brother ate, so he wanted to be a young hungry guy. I'm 64, I want to be a young hungry guy. Some young ladies in your age group like to date young hungry guys." He explained the psyche behind the over-sexualized campaigns.
On his personal blog, Puzder is vocal about how Trump's policies will help reverse the shrinking job market for the working and middle class.