Sales and Marketing

Explosive Response to Paris Hilton Ad Crashes Carl's Jr. Web Site

Frenzy to View Much-Anticipated TV Commercial Overloads Servers for Hours

CKE Restaurants "Build it and they will come," may have originally referred to the creation of a baseball diamond, but Carl's Jr.(R) restaurants discovered Friday that it also applied to a swimsuit-clad, car-washing, burger-eating Paris Hilton web site.

On Thursday, Carl's Jr. launched a special "mini" site touting the Paris Hilton Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger(TM) ad that had created a buzz weeks ago. Rumors abounded that the spot was "too hot" for network television. In truth, the ad began airing last Thursday, and a hotter internet-only version was posted on the mini site, Visitors flooded the site, which was unequipped to handle the unexpected traffic volume, and the host servers crashed at 1:14 p.m. Friday.

"It was a mixed blessing," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl's Jr. "We wanted to create a Paris Hilton site that would attract visitors, and we certainly achieved that objective. Unfortunately, we just weren't prepared for the influx of traffic, and disappointed a number of visitors. It turned out that Paris was too hot for our servers."

In the 30-second spot, Hilton is shown eating The Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger while washing a Bentley in her swimsuit. On May 19, both Carl's Jr. and Hardee's(R) launched newly redesigned web sites showcasing the Paris Hilton mini site featuring the ad, along with behind-the-scenes footage and still shots from the filming of the commercial.

Haley said that all the linked sites -, and -- were up and running again by 5:00 p.m. Friday, and the system is now supported by more robust servers to ensure no further interruptions to visitors' online experiences.

Carl's Jr. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:CKR) of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2005, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,166 franchised or company-owned restaurants in 44 states and in 11 countries, including 1,014 Carl's Jr. restaurants, 2,034 Hardee's restaurants and 101 La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants.

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.