Sue McDonald’s and Wendy’s for their misleading photos

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 14: In this photo illustration, a McDonald's McPlant Beyond Meat burger is displayed with french fries at a McDonald's restaurant on February 14, 2022 in San Rafael, California.  Nearly three years after Burger King and Carl's Jr. rolled out meat-free burgers, McDonald's has debuted its McPlant burger made with a Beyond Meat vegetarian patty.  For a limited time the burger is being offered at 600 McDonald's restaurants across the country.  (Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Meat shrinks 25%”: McDonald’s and Wendy’s sued for misleading advertising. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • They file a class action lawsuit proposal for misleading advertising

  • They allege that in the ads the food looks up to 20% bigger

  • Mention food stylists who help brands with their visuals

Finally, someone dared to make public what many think: the real McDonald’s hamburgers are far from being like those that appear in commercials and billboards.

McDonald’s customers got tired of the “deception” and have decided to sue, not only one of the most powerful franchises in the world, but also its competition, the fast food multinational Wendy’s.

The class action proposal, filed in New York, alleges that the two dining chains falsely advertise the size of their all-beef burgers and some sandwich ingredients.

A client named Justin Chimenti alleges in the lawsuit that the two fast food giants should compensate him and other people for getting them to buy “certain sandwiches based on their print and video ads.”

In particular, the complaint says McDonald’s cheeseburger ads show “meat extending to the edge of the bun,” but photos taken by consumers show “that the real life burger doesn’t even come close to the edge of the bun”.

The suit was made public weeks after Burger King, another industry titan, received similar claims from the same attorney, Anthony Russo. Among other things, Burger King customers argued that the ads for the iconic Whopper “do not fit reality.”

“McDonald’s also materially exaggerates the size of its beef patties,” Chimeienti noted in the lawsuit, saying the chain uses the “same deceptive Wendy’s strategy”.

Wendy’s is also criticized for the small amount of dressings which he employs in almost every item on the menu. According to the federal document, its ads feature undercooked meats “that make the contents of 16 different sandwiches appear between a 15% to 20% larger than what is sold in your stores”.

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Big Tasty McDonalds beef burger advertising on 14th March 2022 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.  (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

“Meat shrinks 25%”: McDonald’s and Wendy’s sued for misleading advertising. Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Nearly every item on its menu, including its cheeseburgers and Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and McDoubles, is falsely advertised, they added.

Anthony Russo, the attorney who filed the similar proposal against Burger King last month, confirmed to Yahoo Finance that he “is awaiting responses from McDonald’s and Wendy’s.”

Russo and another attorney, James C. Kelly, represented the claim against Burger King initially made by four clients, with the intention of becoming a class. The legal text stated that the Whopper is inflated in advertising by up to 35%.

Consumer Protection

Kelly told FOX Business that she thinks it’s important to protect consumers from materially false ads, so they don’t feel misled or disappointed.

“There is no good reason why Wendy’s and McDonald’s should be allowed to use deception in their advertising,” he added. “We hope that through these class action lawsuits, these iconic companies will recognize the injustice of their advertising and make positive changes.”

To reinforce the accusations, the lawsuit mentions food stylist, Ellie Stern, whose customers include McDonald’s and Wendy’s. The creative admitted in an interview with MoneyTalksNews that she uses the “rare” method to prepare sandwiches for photo shoots.

“Usually, meat shrinks 25% when cookeddepending on the amount of fat and liquid in it,” the plaintiffs said of the McDonald’s hamburgers.

Both networks were charged in four courts with breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and violation of New York’s consumer protection law.

Plaintiffs seek monetary damages for all Wendy’s and McDonald’s customers misled by the companies’ advertisementsas well as a court order requiring networks to change or suspend exaggerated advertising.

Deceptive marketing tactics are “especially concerning now that inflation, food and meat prices are soaring, and many consumers, especially low-income ones, are struggling financially,” they noted.

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