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Burger King faces advertising lawsuit over Whopper burger size

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Yahoo Finance's Alexis Keenan explains the class action lawsuit against Burger King alleging that the fast food chain falsely advertises the size of its burgers.

Video transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: A Whopper of an issue at Burger King Yahoo Finance legal correspondent Alexis Keenan is here with the juicy details on new accusations against the fast food chain. Alexis.

ALEXIS KEENAN: Hey, Brian. So this is a group of plaintiffs who filed suit on Thursday in federal district court in Florida. They want this lawsuit to be a class action on behalf of all of the people who bought burgers supposedly under these false representations. Now the plaintiffs say that Burger King is falsely advertising the size and the amount of the ingredients of its burgers. Plus, they say nearly every item in its ads, they say that the ads amount to what are unfair and deceptive trade practices.

And in their complaint, they write that Burger King advertises its burgers as large burgers compared to competitors and containing oversized meat patties and ingredients that overflow over the bun to make it appear that the burgers are 35% larger in size and contain more than double the meat than the actual burger. Now the plaintiffs say that Burger King began this materially overstating the size of its burgers back in 2017.

And to back up their-- wink, wink-- beef, the plaintiffs offer some images from Burger King's website, along with its store menu. And they point to-- and you can see there are differences, they're saying, between the current advertisements and the Whopper-- a current advertisement for the Whopper versus the actual Whopper, that is. And also, they are looking at the former ads back from 2017 and the current ad, saying that they just don't add up here.

Now, as additional evidence, the plaintiffs cite food critics and Twitter posts that are expressing varying disappointment with the real sandwiches. They also mention that 12 years ago, the advertising regulator in the UK ordered Burger King to stop overstating the size of its burgers. So they say this has happened before. As compensation here, what the plaintiffs want, they want money damages. They want all supposedly deceived consumers to be paid back. They also want an injunction to stop the supposed offending ads.

And just to really tug at the heartstrings here, the plaintiffs also allege that the practices are especially concerning right now, given that inflation and food and meat prices, they say, are, quote, "very high," especially for consumers who are struggling financially right now. So we will see where this thing goes. Maybe these claims are valid, maybe they're not. But we'll see what adds up here once this case proceeds a little bit further, and Burger King actually has to produce some additional evidence perhaps.

BRIAN SOZZI: I'll just add this, Alexis. As someone who has covered fast food for a while, this is a broader industry problem. You look at some of the ads that Carl's Jr. and Hardee's run, you would think they're selling 30-pound burgers, but when you go there, they actually serve you a hockey puck. It doesn't look anything like the photos. We'll leave it there for now, but Alexis Keenan, thanks so much.

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