Honestly, they’re doing God’s work.
If you live anywhere under the shadow of capitalism, then you’ve seen one of those McDonald’s commercials where a camera pans in to a burger oozing with beef juice and stacked with bacon, melting cheese, and onions. You’ve probably also had the experience of going to a drive-thru and unwrapping said burger only to find a disappointing, deflated version of what was advertised. We’ve all been gaslit by fast food chains and now, a new lawsuit against McDonald’s and Wendy’s and other fast food chains are being accused of exaggerating the size of their food.
The 35-page class action complaint, filed in New York on Tuesday, claims that the ads are unfair to consumers. The lawsuit also alleges that McDonald’s and Wendy’s misleading ads are “diverting millions of dollars in sales” from other businesses that can actually provide us with the thicc burgers we crave, per the Washington Post.
I can’t tell if the people who filed this lawsuit are just being petty or doing God’s work — probably both. On the one hand, any restaurant is going to try to make their food look as appetizing as possible on a commercial and it would be impossible for McDonald’s, which sells 50 million burgers a day, to nail a beautiful burger every time. On the other hand, the lawsuit is absolutely accurate in their claim that these companies are falsely marketing their products, since they mostly use undercooked beef patties in ads to make them appear larger, per Reuters.
There’s actually an entire art called food styling that is dedicated to making food look more appetizing behind the camera. Some of their tricks are pretty gnarly, like using white hair gel instead of milk for cereal ads or watered down soy sauce instead of coffee, per The Guardian. For the most part, we all accept that whatever we buy is going to look better on a billboard or on TV, in the same way that the bucket hat I bought on ASOS looked better on that six-foot-two model than it did on me.
It doesn’t seem super likely that this lawsuit will go anywhere since all marketing is, to some extent, misleading or exaggerated. But if they do succeed, I’m rooting for their success, because maybe it will mean that those McDonald’s and Wendy’s burgers are finally going to start looking the way they do behind my screen.