Was Negotiating for a TV Ad With Controversial Celebrity

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Burger King Corp., which has been in negotiations with Paris Hilton to star in an advertising campaign, is now backing away for fear of its
Photo: AP
Paris Hilton is too hot for Burger King to handle.
franchisees' reaction to the project, according to an executive close to the situation.

The No. 2 burger chain had hoped to advance its newfound momentum by using the leggy blonde hotel heiress in its advertising. But her racy reputation was of concern to franchisees even as the work was being developed, executives close to the marketer said.

'Extreme baggage'
"Given the extreme baggage she carries, it was killed," said one, although another executive said it was more due to timing issues with Ms. Hilton.

In a voice mail left in response to a call seeking comment, Ms. Hilton's public relations agent would only say: "We don't have a deal yet."

Known as much for a video of her sexual gymnastics that circulated on the Internet as for her starring role in the Fox reality show The Simple Life, Ms. Hilton already was a sore subject with the chain's franchisees. Some had earlier refused to put out table cards featuring her and co-star Nicole Richie that hyped Burger King's appearance in The Simple Life 2.

Burger King and its agency, MDC Partners' Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, declined comment.

Musical career
The World Entertainment News Network in the U.K. yesterday reported Ms. Hilton was offered $750,000 to do a Burger King TV spot, which would have included her original music, and that photographer David LaChappelle was selected to direct the effort. Mr. LaChappelle's commercial representatives declined to comment. Ms. Hilton's debut album, Paris Is Burning, is due to be released on her own label, Heiress Records.

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