McDonald’s and Wendy’s Sued for Misleading Ad Photos of Burgers

Big Mac

McDonald’s and Wendy’s are being sued by a New York man who claims that advertisements for their burgers look much bigger than they actually are.

The proposed class-action lawsuit says that the marketing photos make the burgers look at least 15% larger than they are when you buy them from the restaurants.

Justin Chimienti was disappointed after buying a Big Mac from McDonald’s and the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger he bought from Wendy’s. He claims they were not as big and juicy as advertised.

Chimienti filed the lawsuit on Tuesday for $50 million on behalf of himself and other customers, accusing the fast-food chains of defrauding their clientele via their advertising, the BBC reports .

Brooklyn federal court will hear the case, and Chimienti’s lawyers are the same firm that is representing a group of customers complaining about Burger King’s advertising photos in a similar case.

Chimienti claims that McDonald’s and Wendy’s use undercooked beef patties in their photo advertisements to make the patties appear larger. The complaint argues that meat shrinks 25% when cooked.

The suit provides evidence courtesy of a Wendy’s photographer who spoke in a 2014 Money Talks News interview where she says that she prefers using undercooked patties because fully-cooked burgers look “less appetizing.”

The complaint alleges that Wendy’s overstates the size of 19 burgers on its menu, including its Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger. It also claims that McDonald’s “materially overstates the size of the beef patties for nearly every menu item in its current advertisements,” including its signature Big Mac.

The suit compiles complaints about the food products from social media and also links to YouTube reviews. Adaryl Fisher Review’s video is provided as evidence where the vlogger says, “this is worth a dollar, this is not no five-dollar burger.”

The suit alleges that Wendy’s and McDonald’s are “unfairly diverting millions of dollars in sales that would have gone to competitors” because of their deceptive ads.

Cases such as this one have proliferated in recent years, but the issue has grown in relevance after consumers nearly everywhere are facing record-high inflation.

In 2010, the United Kingdom upheld a complainant’s case that the chain’s chicken sandwiches were much smaller than advertised. However, it’s unusual to see a case such as this one in the United States, where many advertising disputes are between competitors and resolved quietly through an industry body.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.