Woman Sued McDonald’s Because She Believes Their Advertisements Made Her Eat Cheeseburgers

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Advertisements exist to entice people to do things. There are probably a lot of things we wouldn’t own right now if we hadn’t seen ads for them. Ads influence what our kids wants for Christmas, what sounds good for dinner and what kind of car we want to drive.

One woman is suing McDonald’s for an ad that made her want to buy and eat the food in the ad. While it may sound ridiculous to sue a company for a successful ad, she has her reasons.

Ksenia Ovchinnikova lives in Russia, and she is also an Orthodox Catholic. In the Russian Orthodox Church, catholics observe Lent in the weeks leading up to Easter. Lent lasts for 46 days, starting on a Monday, and observers need to abstain from meat, dairy, eggs and fish for all of those days including the weekends. No cheat meals allowed. Obviously, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s would be a big no-no.

Ovchinnikova successfully observed Lent for 16 years. Then, in April 2019, she saw an ad for McDonald’s. The ad was promoting the fast food chain’s chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers.

At this point, Ovchinnikova was already a month into Lent, but the ad was too much for her. Apparently, the ad was so enticing that Ovchinnikova simply couldn’t resist going to the nearest McDonald’s and ordering a cheeseburger.

In a statement, Ovchinnikova explained, “When I saw an advertising banner—I could not help myself.”

Ovchinnikova felt guilty about breaking lent, but she turned her guilt to blame. Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions, she blames McDonald’s and the McDonald’s ad she saw. She is even suing the fast food chain for one thousand rubles, the equivalent of $14.

In a statement, Ovchinnikova explained, “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.”

The court has yet to set a date for a hearing.

Do you think there are any grounds to Ovchinnikova’s lawsuit? Have you ever observed Lent?