Burger King faces lawsuit over size of Whopper

The fast food chain is contesting a claim of false advertising in the US

A Burger King Whopper burger in a bun
A lawsuit is claiming Burger King inflated the size of the Whopper in advertising
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Burger King is facing a lawsuit from a group of customers who claim the fast food chain’s advertisements misled them about the size of its burgers.

The 20 US customers who brought the class action lawsuit say the pictures used by Burger King present ingredients that “overflow over the bun”, including its leading Whopper burger, and that it “materially overstates” the size of its burgers on in-store menus.

A US judge in Miami last week rejected Burger King’s attempts to dismiss the case, “paving the way for the arguments to be heard in front of a jury”, said The Telegraph. The plaintiffs are each seeking “at least $5m in damages”, the paper said, arguing that the false advertising is “so blatant” it is a “breach of contract”.

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The customers claim that in Burger King’s advertising the Whopper burger has “increased in size by about 35%” and that the “amount of beef rose by more than 100%” compared to adverts before 2017, said The Times, and that did not correspond to the real-life burger.

US District Judge Roy Altman, who is overseeing the case, dismissed the claim against Burger King’s online and TV advertising, concluding that these “could not reasonably be interpreted as a binding offer”. However, he did say that descriptions and images on in-store advertising and menus “set a higher bar”, added The Times, allowing the claim to go ahead.

Restaurant Brands International, Burger King’s parent company, is contesting the claim, saying it “wasn’t required” to deliver burgers to customers that look “exactly like the picture”. It said “reasonable customers” did not expect this, and food in adverts had always been “styled to make it look as appetising as possible”.

It is not the only case of this type currently taking place, with other fast food chains McDonald’s and Wendy’s “defending against a similar lawsuit” in a federal court in New York, said the Daily Mail. Taco Bell also faced a suit last month for selling products that “contain only half as much filling as advertised”, the paper said.

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Richard Windsor is a freelance writer for The Week Digital. He began his journalism career writing about politics and sport while studying at the University of Southampton. He then worked across various football publications before specialising in cycling for almost nine years, covering major races including the Tour de France and interviewing some of the sport’s top riders. He led Cycling Weekly’s digital platforms as editor for seven of those years, helping to transform the publication into the UK’s largest cycling website. He now works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant.