Friday, December 03, 2021

15628: Byron Allen Not Having It His Way With Mickey D’s.


Advertising Age reported a judge threw out the $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s filed by Byron Allen. However, the judge allowed Allen and his team until December 10 to amend the complaint, which is surely going to happen. Hell, Allen will probably turn the amendment into a full-page advertisement.


Judge Throws Out Byron Allen’s $10 Billion Media Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s


Plaintiffs pledge to amend the complaint


By Jon Springer


A judge has thrown out Byron Allen’s $10 billion lawsuit against McDonald’s, saying the plaintiffs failed to present enough evidence to prove allegations that the restaurant chain had discriminated against Black-owned media groups through “a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract.”


Judge Fernando M. Olguin of U.S. District Court in the Central District of California did however allow for the plaintiffs to amend their complaint before Dec. 10. Skip Miller, a partner at Miller Barondess, LLP, attorneys for plaintiffs Entertainment Studios and Weather Group, in an email said the group would add greater detail to its complaint, “and when we do so, we firmly believe that the case will go forward.”


The suit, which was filed in May, contended that McDonald’s had discriminated against African American-owned media companies, spending only a fraction of its advertising budget with Black-owned companies despite deriving some 40% of its business from Black customers.


Entertainment Studios and Weather Group are headed by Allen, the CEO of Allen Media Group, who is an outspoken critic of McDonald’s.


In November, Allen publicly called on McDonald’s board of directors to fire CEO Chris Kempczinski following the publication of text remarks he made to Chicago’s mayor interpreted as putting some blame on parents for the shooting deaths of two children, including one slain while in a car in the drive-thru of a Chicago McDonald’s restaurant. Kempczinski has since apologized for those remarks.


The suit contended that McDonald’s had refused to advertise on the company’s Weather Channel network since Allen acquired it in 2018 and that the world’s largest restaurant chain had pigeonholed it as an outlet that only reached Black audiences, thereby relegating it to compete for a smaller percentage of its total advertising spend.


Olguin, in his decision, noted that plaintiffs produced insufficient evidence to back up those claims.


“This case is about revenue, not race, and was dismissed because plaintiffs have provided absolutely no factual basis for their claims,” Loretta Lynch, counsel to McDonald’s, said in a statement. “Should plaintiffs amend their complaint for a second time, we will be ready to assess the new claims and move again as we believe there is no evidence supporting this meritless case.”


The suit was filed only hours after McDonald’s had pledged to more than double its spend with minority-owned media companies, saying it would increase the percent of its national advertising spend with such companies from 4% to 10% by 2024. Spending with Black-owned properties was expected to increase from 2% to 5% over the same period.


In addition to the media spending initiative, McDonald’s this year announced a series of diversity, equity and inclusion goals including aligning executive bonuses with goals to increase women and underrepresented groups in leadership roles. And in July, McDonald’s said it would increase purchases with diverse-owned suppliers by nearly 10% by 2025.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's a hot tip for Byron. If anyone were to bother to look at, say, ten years of who directed and produced all of the McD's advertisements "coded" as Black Black Blackity Black, it would be a list as white as a melted McMilkshake. Hell, you look at the last year when McDonald's was in the midst of pledging to support more diversity the vendor list looks like a snowstorm in Chicago.