The Whopper may be, well, only somewhat of a whopper — at least in real life, alleges a new class action lawsuit. Four Burger King customers are suing the chain over its marketing, claiming that the company makes the burger look about 35% bigger in its advertising than it is in reality.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed on March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, are seeking monetary damages for anyone who was “deceived” by Burger King’s advertising, although the filing doesn’t name a monetary target.
“Burger King does not comment on pending or potential litigations,” a Burger King spokesperson said in an emailed statement sent to CBS MoneyWatch.
The lawsuit alleges deceptive trade practices, with the filing claiming that Burger King started to “materially overstate the size of its burgers” in ads beginning in 2017. While the marketing images of the Whopper may have grown bigger, the “recipe or the amount of beef or ingredients contained in Burger King’s Whopper has never changed,” the lawsuit claims.
The class-action lawsuit alleges that Burger King’s size inflation doesn’t stop at the Whopper, noting that ads also overstate the size of menu items like the Impossible Burger, the Big King and the Bacon Double Cheeseburger, among other items.
It also asks that Burger King either stop selling the “overstated menu items” or change its advertisements.
The filing points to YouTube and social media comments about Burger King’s food items, with some food bloggers complaining about the difference between the advertising copy and the reality of the food. To be sure, the food industry is known for lovingly portraying their products in advertisements, making food look juicier in commercials than it might be on the plate.
But the lawsuit claims the issue has more importance given the highest inflation in 40 years and the pressures on consumers’ budgets.
The issue is “especially concerning now that inflation, food and meat prices are very high and many consumers, especially lower income consumers, are struggling financially,” the lawsuit said.
Burger King has been called out by authorities in the past for its advertising techniques. In 2010, the U.K.’s advertising authority told the chain that it misled viewers about the size of a chicken burger, and told the chain to stop running the spot, according to the BBC.