McDonald’s deceived consumers by selling the new McPicanha sandwich without picanha, say experts heard by the UOL.
The case generated controversy after the page Coma Com os Olhos, which reviews snacks on Instagram, published that the McPicanha line of sandwiches, recently relaunched, no longer had picanha among the ingredients of its hamburger. The company admitted that the sandwich only has “picanha-flavored sauce”. Last night, after the negative repercussion, he apologized “if the name chosen raised doubts” and informed that he will remove the sandwich from the menu.
The line was introduced this month with a great advertising campaign within Big Brother Brasil, by Globo.
‘Network cannot highlight something that does not exist’
McDonald’s adopted a deceptive practice, according to Mariana Gondo, a lawyer for the Healthy Eating program at Idec (Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection).
It misleads the consumer about a feature that is essential to the product. The net cannot highlight something that does not exist.
Mariana Gondo, lawyer
For her, the information has to be clear, ostensible and must appear in a transparent way.
“It’s no use for the brand to use resources to put texts in lower case to explain. It needs to be clear and consistent”, he says. For the lawyer, in this case, it may be necessary to carry out a counter-advertisement to clarify the consumer.
“The counter-propaganda must have the same reach as the commercial. It cannot be much smaller or be in another medium or channel”, he says.
Article 60 of the Consumer Protection Code states that “counter-propaganda will be disseminated by the person in charge in the same way, frequency and dimension and, preferably in the same vehicle, place, space and time, in a way capable of undoing the harm of misleading or abusive advertising”. “.
‘Very important information was omitted’
Ana Carolina Aun Al Makul, from Duarte Moral Advogados, agrees that advertising can be considered misleading.
“Not only because of the name, but because of the way it was made. The old sandwich on the line had picanha, so people would believe that this one would also have it. This is an aggravating factor of the situation”, he says.
Communication should be much clearer. They did not specify the characteristics and omitted a very important information.
Ana Carolina Aun Al Reasonable
Communication hurts consumer rights
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 the sandwich is made with picanha”, he says.
The consumer who feels injured individually can file a lawsuit asking for compensation, because there is a “quality vice” in the case, he says.
In this situation, article 18 of the CDC gives the consumer three options: ask for replacement of the purchased product, request a refund of the amount spent or ask for a proportional reduction of the amount paid, something impossible in this case.
Júnior and Aun Al Makul say they believe that moral damage actions are not appropriate.
“The case is a case of annoyance, it does not affect other rights”, says Aun Al Maku.
Procon, Conar and government entered the case
Yesterday, after the disclosure of the case, Procon-SP notified the fast-food chain and requested 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 the documents to the entity by May 2.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security informed that it also notified the network to explain, within ten days, the possible practice of misleading advertising.
Conar (National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation), in turn, decided to open an ethical lawsuit against McDonald’s to verify the “truthfulness of the advertising message” in the case of the launch of the line’s sandwiches.