Conar (National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation) will open an ethical lawsuit against McDonald’s to verify the “truthfulness of the advertising message” in the case of the launch of the McPicanha line sandwiches, which do not have steak among their ingredients. They were launched this month, with a strong advertising campaign within Big Brother Brazil.
Conar does not have the power to demand the removal of advertisements with the name of the sandwich from communication vehicles or social networks, but it can recommend McDonald’s to remove or change the pieces.
The representative’s rapporteur is already defined, but the Council does not inform his name. The rapporteur can issue an injunction, suggesting changes or suspension of the campaign, even before the company defends itself, to protect consumer rights. In addition, the case may go to trial at the Ethics Council of the body, on a date yet to be scheduled.
Sought, McDonald’s has not yet informed whether the campaign with the sandwich will continue to be aired or if the brand intends to change the name of the sandwich (or the ingredients). The videos on YouTube with the commercials appear as private since the morning of this Thursday (28).
McDonald’s advertising can be framed in two articles of the Conar Code of Ethics.
Article 23 states that “advertisements must be made in a way that does not abuse the consumer’s trust, does not exploit his lack of experience or knowledge, and does not benefit from his credulity.”
The text of article 27 says that “the advertisement must contain a true presentation of the product offered” and that the advertisement “must not contain information… that misleads the consumer regarding the advertised product”.
Procon notifies network
Procon-SP has also reported that it asked the fast food chain for clarification on the composition of the sandwiches, as well as the “copy of advertising materials and media for the 2022 line”.
The company must submit to the entity, by May 2, the nutritional table of the sandwiches, attesting to the composition of each of the ingredients (meat, sauces and additives) and documents that prove the quality tests carried out, demonstrating the process of handling, packaging and time indicated for consumption.
Communication hurts the consumer protection code
McDonald’s communication violates the Consumer Protection Code (CDC), according to Jesualdo de Almeida Júnior, president of the Consumer Law commission of the São Paulo subsection of the OAB (Brazilian Bar Association).
“The communication is misleading in its essence, directly suggesting that it is picanha. The name of the sandwich also directly offends Article 30 of the Consumer Protection Code”, he says. According to him, the consumer who feels individually injured can claim compensation for having a “quality defect”.
In this case, article 18 of the CDC gives the consumer three options: to opt for the replacement of the good, the price refund or the proportional rebate.
understand the case
The McDonald’s demonstration took place after the Coma Com os Olhos page, which reviews snacks on Instagram, said it would take the possible case of misleading advertising to Conar (National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation) and to Procon in São Paulo.
The company itself has already confirmed that the McPicanha burger is “produced with different cuts of beef” — that is, without picanha. In a statement, the company also said it regretted that the “advertising created around the product has caused doubts in consumers”.
“The launches bring the novelty of the exclusive picanha-flavored sauce (with a natural flavor of picanha), a new presentation and a different hamburger in composition and size (100% beef, produced with a blend of selected cuts and in the largest size offered by network currently),” said the network