McDonald’s “4 For $4” Campaign Accused Of Being Misleading & Deceptive

McDonald’s “4 For $4” Campaign Accused Of Being Misleading & Deceptive
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

The lesson of this story is always read the fine print: The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has received several complaints over McDonald’s “4 for $4” deal because people have driven to their local Maccas only to find out the deal is “only available at participating stores”.

The McDonald’s ad claims that a cheeseburger, small fries, small Coke and a sundae are available for $4. From the 8 second mark until the 14 second mark the following legal lines appear in clear, legible and easily readable text at the base of the screen: “Available 10:30am – midnight at participating restaurants for a limited time. Excludes McDelivery®.”

It appears the “participating restaurants for a limited time” detail was missed by several people who complained to the ASB. A sample of comments which the complainant/s made regarding this advertisement include:

  • I verily believe that the McDonalds Ad for an alleged special “4 for $4” is misleading and deceptive.
  • After the advert ran on TV I went to the drive thru of McDonalds Main Street Kangaroo Point Queensland about lunch time on Wednesday 04/01/2017 and ordered a “4 for $4 Special” and was told that it was only available if the advert was currently showing on the electronic board of the drive thru. I had driven there specifically for the special after seeing the advert on the TV. I felt I was misled and deceived as I was not aware of the requirement that the special only applied if shown on the electronic board in the drive thru. If this is the case then why advertise on the TV? The special is therefore not available at prescribed time ie it is ad hoc and up to the McDonalds to run the advert on the drive thru. Surely, the intention is to mislead and deceive people to come and then not be guaranteed the special.
  • Since my visit to McDonalds, I have again seen the ad and paid special attention to the small print displayed on the bottom of the page. I am not kidding about the “small print”. It was tiny, the colour did not stand, and there was no words detailing that T&C’s applied. I note that the fine print does not appear for the full length of the ad but only appears for the final few seconds. I note that the small print only outlines that the special is only available at participating stores. What does this mean? It is either a special at McDonalds or not. If it is not available at all stores then the ad should detail which stores it is available at. Further, the ad makes no mention that “participating stores” means stores that run the ad in the drive thru. That means you have to dive into the drive thru to determine if it a “participating store”. This reinforces that McDonalds are trying to mislead and deceive.
  • I feel I should be reimbursed for my time and costs along with all other customers (or McDonalds should donate the equivalent of all “4 for 4” sales to Ronald McDonald House, the ACCC prosecute McDonalds, McDonalds stop the ad and apologize, and all TV networks stop the ad.

In a very extensive response, a McDonald’s representative claimed “the TVC makes it very clear to the target audience that the offer is only available at participating restaurants. The legal disclaimer was shown clearly and legibly for a sufficient amount of time for the ordinary reasonable person to be able to read and understand it. By the complainant’s own admission, the disclaimer was present in the commercial and clearly said “at participating restaurants”.

“The complainant’s contention that we ought to list in the TVC which restaurants are participating and which restaurants are not participating is unreasonable and impractical.”

The ASB agreed with Maccas, saying that “the number of McDonald’s restaurants in Australia and considered that it was not feasible or practical for an advertisement to list each and every store and whether or not they are participating in a particular offer”. The complaints were dismissed.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]