Maccas crushes coffee snobs in reply to advert complaint
McDONALD'S has had its right to call its coffee "Australia's most popular" upheld after the advertising watchdog sided with the fast food giant in an argument against the claim.
The restaurant chain delivered a fierce and eloquent smackdown to a complaint submitted to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ABS) last month, questioning whether Maccas' coffee was actually Australia's preferred choice.
The television ad in contention shows a barista making a brew before handing it through a drive-through window while a voice-over says "when you try a freshly-made coffee at McCafe, you're enjoying Australia's most popular barista made coffee. Just one of the many reasons to try McCafe".
But at least one person wasn't swallowing it.
"Whilst it may be the highest selling in terms of volume, most popular implies customer preference of a majority of barista made coffees had been completed and McDonald's is the preferred choice," the complaint submitted to the ABS read.
"I challenge the statement as many purchases are made for convenience, not for quality or preference as the 'best choice' of barista made coffee."
The unnamed complainant argued Macca's should use the term "best-selling" rather than "most popular", unless it was backed by comprehensive market research comparing preferred coffee providers among Australians.
Well, that whinger got owned.
In its three-page response, Macca's argued it did in fact serve Australia's most popular coffee by bringing in the big guns, using definitions from the world's most authoritative dictionaries.
"Key to this claim is the definition of the word 'popular'. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines 'popular' as "liked, enjoyed, or supported by many people". Likewise, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word to include "suitable to the majority, frequently encountered or widely accepted, commonly liked or approved"," the restaurant's response reads.
Arguing that a product's popularity "does not hinge on its quality, taste, or other physical properties", Macca's comes to the conclusion its McCafe coffee "is the most popular barista-made coffee in Australia because, as the Complaint states, we sell the most coffee by volume".
McDonald's makes no attempt to convince anyone Australians actually enjoy the taste of the chain's cheap takeaway coffee - they're not crazy - but instead relies on sales data and urged the ABS to ignore "hypothetical popularity".
The chain didn't miss the chance at an apparent dig at its competitors, either, stating simply: "If McCafe cannot claim to be the most popular, who can?"
"Despite looking at the data in a multitude of difference ways, we cannot see any other brand in a better position to make this claim that us.
"We submit that if there is no other brand better able to make this claim than us, then, by process of deduction, we are the most popular."
After viewing the advertising and noting McDonald's' response, The ABC decided the advertisement did not breach the Food Code and dismissed the complaint.
Maccas: 1, coffee snobs: 0.