Burger boys Jack In the Box have apparently recovered from their fit with E-coli to throw zingers at their competitors, such as Hardee’s.  In a pair of advertisements, the (creepy looking) Jack character leads a carousing office meeting, implying, perhaps, that the Angus meat in competitors’ burgers come from…well, the least appetizing part of a cow.

Hardee’s parent company CKE is understandably perturbed at being the *ahem* butt of the joke.

The commercials, however, are pretty funny and rival most ads included in this year’s Super Bowl broadcast.

Advertising is different than PR, and it is the venue where the most direct attacks on competitors take place (Bud vs. Miller; Pepsi vs. Coke).  But still, there must be some sort of ethical threshold, right?  Isn’t there a space for relying on the quality of your product instead of bottoming out (oops) at the lowest common denominator?

CKE has asked Jack In the Box to refrain from airing the ads, but AP writes that a CKE executive “said that the company asked Jack In the Box to drop the ads, but that the chain refused and pointed to a Carl’s Jr. TV spot suggesting Carl’s Jr. milk shakes were superior to those served by competitors.”

Clearly they’re comparing asses to utters. — Alex Parker