The consumer association UFC-Que Choisir announced on Wednesday that it has filed a complaint against McDonald’s France for “deceptive commercial practices”: she accuses him of illegally using child influencers for his advertising, which the fast food giant disputes.
The UFC-Que Choisir raises the case of young influencers who promote McDonald’s products on social networks, directly citing the restaurant chain, without mentioning the existence of a commercial partnership, in its complaint filed on Monday. “However, concealing the advertising nature of a message, thus letting the community of an influencer believe in disinterested advice, is a deceptive commercial practice punishable”, recalls the association in a press release published on Wednesday.
For McDonald’s, it is an “abusive complaint, intended for the media, which absolutely does not reflect the nature of [ses] practices, ”he said in a reaction sent to AFP. The group said it was considering filing a “malicious prosecution” complaint.
In a similar case, influencer and reality TV star Nabilla Benattia-Vergara was fined 20,000 euros for promoting stock services on Snapchat, not to mention that she was paid for it. “The perfidy of such a lack of transparency increases if the target community is made up of children, less armed than adults in the face of hidden advertising messages,” said the UFC-Que Choisir.
Last April, McDonald’s had already assured the association “never to make any partnership with minors aged 17 or under, or [avec] parents exclusively highlighting their children on their channel ”. The group says it has also “repeatedly offered exchanges to answer all the questions of the consumer association”, without success.