A New York resident claims that both McDonald’s and Wendy’s purposely make their signature burgers appear MUCH bigger and more appealing in advertisements.
The claimant is seeking a whopping $50m (equivalent to £40.3m) in damages for himself and on behalf of other affected customers. Read on for the juicy beef!
Justin Chimienti was left absolutely stunned when the Big Mac he purchased from McDonald’s and the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s, were half the size of the burgers he saw advertised.
Chimienti, from Suffolk County, New York claims that Wendy’s enlarges the size of 19 burgers on its menu, including its Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger. He also alleges that McDonald’s “materially overstates the size of the beef patties for nearly every menu item in its current advertisements,” including the famous Big Mac.
Following the bizarre situation, both McDonald’s and Wendy’s came under fire by comments circulating on several social media platforms. Particularly, on Twitter where plenty others voiced their opinions and thoughts on the deceitful ads. With many even sharing pictures of their own disappointing meals.
Similarly, rival fast-food chain Burger King, came under fire by several complaints and saw UK regulators ban a chicken sandwich ad in 2010. However, it is quite unusual to hear of these types of complaints in the US. Law Professor Deborah Gerhardt, at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, commented that many advertising disputes between competitors are usually resolved fairly quietly, through a private industry body. “A lot of the disputes never even come to light,” she added.
Although neither McDonald’s nor Wendy’s responded immediately to any requests for comment. Chris Kempczinski, the Chief Executive of McDonald’s attended a conference call with analysts in April, where he commented that lower-income consumers faced “increased value sensitivity” due to living costs being at an all-time high. Meanwhile, Todd Penegor, the CEO of Wendy’s, told analysts in May that ‘inflation is being noticed by the consumers.’
In a class-action lawsuit, Chimienti accuses the popular fast-food chains of unfair and deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for alleged breaches of contract since May 2016 and violations of consumer protection laws nationwide. The suit also alleges that as a result of the misleading ads, the chains are “unfairly diverting millions of dollars in sales that would have gone to competitors”.
Chimienti argues that McDonald’s and Wendy’s purposely use undercooked beef patties for their ads, which makes the patties appear at least 15% to 20% larger in comparison to those being served to customers. He also added that meat shrinks 25% when fully cooked and quoted a food stylist, a previous employee for McDonald’s and Wendy’s, who prefers using undercooked patties as fully cooked burgers look “less appealing.”
The proposed class-action lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, shares similarities to a lawsuit filed in March, against Burger King Corp in Miami and surprisingly, by the same three law firms.