Advertisements for humans are everywhere. They are on the television, in magazines, and even on the internet. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all trying to sell you something. Whether it is a new car, a new pair of shoes, or a new house, there is an advertisement for it. And they are not just selling things; they are also selling ideas. Ideas about what is cool, what is fashionable, and what is worth your time and money.
McDonald’s is being sued by one woman for an advertisement that made her want to buy and eat the food in the advertisement. It may seem ridiculous to sue a company over a successful advertisement, but she has her reasons.
Ksenia Ovchinnikova lives in Russia and is a practicing Orthodox Catholic. During Lent, Catholics in the Russian Orthodox Church observe fasting. Starting on a Monday, Lent lasts for 46 days, and observers must abstain from meat, dairy, eggs, and fish during all those days, including weekends. No cheat meals are allowed. Obviously, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s would be a big no-no.
Observing Lent for 16 years was a successful endeavor for Ovchinnikova. Her eyes were drawn to an advertisement for McDonald’s in April 2019. An advertisement for the fast food chain promoted its chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers.
By this point, Ovchinnikova had already been observing Lent for a month, but the ad had too much effect on her. In response to the ad’s appeal, Ovchinnikova had to go to McDonald’s and order a cheeseburger.
Ovchinnikova elaborated, “When I saw an advertising banner—I could not help myself.”
In response to her guilt about breaking lent, Ovchinnikova turned her feelings of guilt into blame. Rather than taking responsibility for her own actions, she blames McDonald’s and the McDonald’s advertisement she saw. She has even sued the fast food chain for a thousand rubles, equivalent to $14.
She stated, “In the actions of McDonald’s, I see a violation of the consumer protection law. I ask the court to investigate and, if a violation has taken place, to oblige McDonald’s LLC to compensate me for moral damage in the amount of one thousand rubles.”
There has yet to be a hearing date set by the court.
Does Ovchinnikova’s lawsuit seem justified? Have you ever observed Lent?