Lawsuit: Burger King Accused of Overstating ‘Whopper’ Size in TV Ads

Lawsuit: Burger King Accused of Overstating 'Whopper' Size in TV Ads Burger King Burger King. (Sports Images/Dreamstime.com)

By Jason Clemons | Tuesday, 05 April 2022 02:37 PM

Apparently, the iconic catchphrase of "Have It Your Way" doesn't cover burger size.

According to CBS News, four Burger King customers filed a lawsuit against the fast-food chain last month, claiming the company had been misleading the public regarding the size of The Whopper — Burger King's signature burger for nearly 65 years.

What's the disparity between TV Whoppers and every-day Whoppers?

The plaintiffs in the suit allege TV Whoppers are 35% bigger than what one would purchase at an actual Burger King.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims Burger King has been implementing deceptive trade practices for approximately five years, "materially" overstating the size of its core burgers.

Simply put, while the TV images of a Whopper continue to grow, the lawsuit states, "the recipe or the amount of beef or ingredients contained in Burger King's Whopper has never changed."

A 2022 Whopper can typically be purchased for $4.19, a sizable uptick from the original price of 37 cents from December 1957.

And yet, the lawsuit claims the rise in pricing hasn't coincided with increasing the size of the burger; and the alleged size reduction "is especially concerning now that inflation, food, and meat prices are very high and many consumers, especially lower-income consumers, are struggling financially."

This controversy goes beyond the size of the Whopper: CBS reports the class-action lawsuit also contends that Burger King oversells the size of three other prominent products on the menu — the Impossible Burger, the Big King, and the Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

The plaintiffs are reportedly seeking yet-to-be-determined monetary damages for anyone who was "deceived" by Burger King's advertising.

Burger King offered no revealing comment on the lawsuit or sizing controversy, saying, "Burger King does not comment on pending or potential litigations," said a BK spokesperson in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.

In 1985, the Whopper size was reportedly increased to 4.2 ounces, as part of a big ad campaign featuring a number of 1980s TV stars, including Mr. T.

For one TV spot, Burger King declared The Whopper to be bigger than a Big Mac (McDonald's) or Wendy's single burger.

In 1984, Wendy's famously launched a "Where's The Beef?" ad campaign, seemingly mocking Burger King and McDonald's for their inordinately high bun-to-burger ratios.

According to AOL, this isn't the first time someone has brought a legal challenge to a Burger King product. In 2010, the United Kingdom's advertising authority cited the corporation, determining the height and thickness of the burgers were "considerably less" than advertised.