Popular fast-food giant Burger King has landed in legal trouble as a group of customers filed a class-action suit against it for running a misleading advertisement.
In a lawsuit filed on March 28 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, four Burger King customers claimed that “the company makes the burger look about 35% bigger in its advertising than it is in reality”, as reported by BBC.
Not only this, but the plaintiffs also sought monetary damages from Burger King for running deceptive ads.
When contacted, Burger declined to comment on the issue, saying that as a matter of policy, “it does not comment on pending or potential litigations,” reported CBS News.
The lawsuit alleges that Burger King has been running deceptive ads since 2017. The ads make Burger look disproportionately larger, while in reality, it serves customers a much smaller burger whopper.
While Burger King overstates the size of Burgers in advertisements, the “recipe or the amount of beef or ingredients contained in Burger King’s Whopper has never changed,” the lawsuit claims.
Questioning the deceptive marketing tactics of the fast-food giant, the lawsuit also points out its deflated and overstated menu list in advertisements. The lawsuit prayed that the respondent would stop its misleading advertisements over serving the same whoopers as advertised and marketed by the company in the virtual world.
The lawsuit generated discussion on social media and food blogging portals, with many users sharing the same sentiment against Burger King for deceiving customers with misleading advertisements.
It is yet to be seen if claimants succeed in their class-action suit against Burger King. The food industry is known for such marketing tactics where they show the advertised items as fresh and juicer than they might be on the plate when served.
It may be noted that it is not the first time Burger King has been in hot water over deceptive advertising claims. In 2010, the British Advertising Standards Authority had banned Burger King’s advertising campaign after receiving consumer complaints that the chicken burger shown in the advertisements was bigger than the real thing.
Justifying the ban, the Advertising Standards Authority said it bought three burgers and found their thickness and the overall height were “considerably less” than in the ad, as reported by the BBC.
Different countries worldwide have advertisement regulating authorities to monitor fake, misleading, and deceptive advertisements and protect the interests of the consumers.
FTC, or the Federal Trade Commission, regulates the advertisement industry in the US. There have been several successful claims in US History against deceptive advertisements.
The law on fair advertisements provides that “the advertisement must be truthful and non-deceptive, have proof to show what they are advertising is true, and make sure that the advertisement is not unfair.”
An advertisement is simply misleading or deceptive when they are likely to deceive the consumer.