Advertising Photography Lawsuit Against Fast Food Titans Thrown Out of the Court


Advertising photos, love them or hate them, are a quintessential part of the modern capitalist landscape.

burger with lettuce and fries
Burger with lettuce and fries. Photo by Mike

Whether it is selling vacation destinations or food, they always tend to embellish reality just a little bit. And in the era of AI and computer-generated ad photos, this might even be more the case than before.

But whether or not this slice of fantasy is worth of a lawsuit then we have our answer on that as far as fast food is concerned.

First, we have to admit, this lawsuit does raise a common complaint which is, namely, “Why doesn’t this food look like the picture?”

Photography tricks aside, there are a myriad of reasons why the actual product you might get at McDonald’s or Wendy’s doesn’t quite line up with the ad photos.

US District Judge Hector Gonzalez dismissed a lawsuit alleging deceptive practices where the aforementioned fast food giants and their respective ad campaigns were concerned. Citing numerous disclosures and clear language regarding what appears in the ad photo and what a customer might receive in reality, the judge underscored that McDonald’s and Wendy’s did nothing out of the norm for the industry and advertising more broadly.

CNN also reports an interesting fact and that is that litigation around fast food is apparently “growing” whatever that might mean. For our part, we’re more interested in the question of whether or not AI content used for advertising will be able to enjoy the same kinds of “benefits of a doubt” as some advertising does now. After all, something generated through a computer process is, by definition, fake. When that court case happens, we’ll be sure to bring you word of that.

What are your thoughts on advertising photos? Misleading or appropriate given the need to, you know, sell something? Let us know in the comments.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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