"This commercial is basically soft-core porn," said Melissa Caldwell, research director for the Los Angeles-based Parents Television Council. "It's inappropriate for television."
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the group plans to mobilize its more than 1 million members to protest and is considering asking the Federal Communications Commission to declare the ad indecent.
The commercial shows the hotel heiress and reality TV star vamping in a revealing swimsuit as she soaps and rinses a black Bentley. She also takes a bite out of a Carl's Jr. hamburger.
The commercial for the jalapeno-laden "Spicy BBQ Six-Dollar Burger" ends with Hilton's signature tag line, "That's hot."
"Paris was chosen to star in the ad because she is an intriguing cultural icon and the 'it girl' of the moment," Brad Haley, marketing chief for Carl's Jr., said in a statement issued before the commercial began airing last week.
"She fascinates Carl's Jr.'s most loyal customers, 'young, hungry guys,' as well as 'young, hungry gals,'" Haley said.
The company is known for its racy television ads, one of which featured a woman eating a burger while riding a mechanical bull. Another starred Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and several playmates.
Stuart Fischoff, a media psychologist at Cal State Los Angeles, told the Times that the Hilton commercial went well beyond other Carl's ads targeted at young men and boys.
"This could come back and bite them in the behind," Fischoff told the newspaper. "We're in the throes of a culture war in this country, and for them to be pushing the envelope like this at this time could be very dangerous."