A New York guy has a gripe with McDonald’s and Wendy’s, claiming that their advertisements make their burgers appear considerably larger than they are.
He accuses the fast food behemoths of unfair and fraudulent commercial practices in a planned class-action lawsuit. He is demanding damages of $50 million (£40.3 million) for himself and other similarly defrauded consumers.
The businesses have yet to respond to the situation, which has received several complaints on social media. In March, the same legal firms representing New Yorker Justin Chimienti filed a similar complaint against Burger King in Florida. Burger King has yet to react in court, but a revised complaint suggests that additional disgruntled customers have joined the lawsuit.
The advertisements are “unfair and financially detrimental to customers since they receive food that is significantly less valuable than what is promised,” according to the complaints.
They say that the “activities are especially troubling today that inflation, food, and meat prices are relatively high and many customers, particularly lower-income consumers, are struggling financially.”
The burgers in the advertisements are at least 15% bigger than they are in real life, according to the complaint against McDonald’s and Wendy’s. It covers some of the social media responses criticizing the companies for the disparity.
“It’s looking a little sad… not like the picture,” one YouTube reviewer, cited in the lawsuit, said of Wendy’s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger.
“It’s going to be a small burger folks. I am just telling you straight up what to expect so you won’t be disappointed like me,” said another.
According to Mark Bartholomew, a legal professor at the University of Buffalo in New York, such remarks are unlikely to win a case in US court. He stated that a court would want proof that buyers were duped and that the advertisements influenced purchase decisions.
In 2010, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned a Burger King commercial after complaints that the chain’s chicken sandwiches were significantly smaller than advertised.
But, according to Deborah Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “in the United States, many advertising conflicts are between rivals and are addressed discreetly through an industry group.”