McDonald’s, targeted by Romanian Consumers’ Protection Authority for misleading advertising

Creativity, Media

Romanian National Authority for Consumers Protection (ANPC) asked Romanian National Audiovisual Council (CNA) to apply the appropriate sanctions to McDonald’s Romania regarding a TV ad considered misleading as it claims that “Fries from McDonald’s make you remember your grandparents”.

After the TV ad was broadcasted on different Romanian TV stations, ANPC considered that the affirmation according to which “Fries from McDonald’s make you remember your grandparents” is delusive as it suggests to consumers that the main material used for fries are potatoes brought from the vegetables market.

Following a control made by ANPC in McDonald’s fast-food network seeking to see the origin and quality of fries, ANPC established that the products sold as fries by McDonalds consists in “thermical treatment of frozen fries products”, a product that includes ingredients such as potatoes, vegetable oil, dextrose and food stabilizer. Consequently, the TV ad sends 2 messages that mislead consumers: that fries are made from freshly brought potatoes and that they are bringing in consumers’ mind their grandparents, inducing the fake idea of turning back to old times quality. Therefor, ANPC sanctioned  McDonald’s Romania with a fine of RON 10,000 (around Euro 2,500) and also asked CNA to apply the needed measures for the TV ad to respect the reality.

As ANPC writes on its own website, according to Romanian law, a commercial action is considered misleading if it includes fake information that mislead the consumer and convince him to make a transaction decision that he wouldn’t have taken otherwise

In reply to ANPC’s action, McDonald’s Romania informed, in a reply published by Mediafax, that the TV ad has the intention to inform consumers about product’s quality and origins, as the company has some of the highest quality standards in the industry.