Carl's Jr is in hot water again over its saucy marketing, with the Advertising Standards Authority partially upholding a complaint against a television commercial featuring Victoria's Secret model Sara Sampaio.

The complainant, T Fleming, was "disgusted" that the advertisement for the chain's "El Scorcho" burger was aired during the family movie Epic, which screened on TV3.

"This ad comes on where the chick is trying to be sexy eating a burger ... then right at the end she is wearing a red bra and undies! I definitely do not need my children to see this," Fleming said in the complaint.

Carl's Jr's marketing targets "hungry young men" and invariably uses risque content to capture the attention of its target demographic.

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An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman said two additional complaints were received about the El Scorcho commercial screening during TV2's Home & Away and Shortland Street.

The advertisement features Portuguese model Sampaio walking into an ice hotel, burger in hand.

As she begins eating the burger the ice surrounding her begins to melt and she throws off her fur coat to reveal a red bikini.

The complaint was upheld in part, with the complaints board saying the advertisement had a "salacious tone".

"The complaints board said the advertisement employed a subtle level of sexual appeal, however this did not reach the threshold to be considered to offend against generally community standards when taking into account the overall context of the advertisement," the decision said.

Carl's Jr's New Zealand operator, Restaurant Brands, said the advertisement had been shown to the Commercial Approvals Bureau (CAB) prior to going to air and was rated GXC, meaning it should not be shown during children's programmes.

"This particular Carl's Jr TV spot is no longer on air as it was used to advertise a limited time offer burger," the company said.

Responding on behalf of the media companies, CAB said the commercial was meant to convey how spicy the burger was.

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"The commercial has a very clear fire vs ice motif and very high production value," CAB said.

It's not the first time the American burger chain's advertising has caused a stir in this country.

In 2013 an advertisement for the Carl's Jr Memphis BBQ Burger - which featured two young women in bikini tops grilling and chomping on burgers - was banned from New Zealand television in a rare decision that Restaurant Brands labelled "puritanical".

See the ASA decision here: