herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Now Burger King has a beef with Supermac's over 100pc Irish meat

Irish favourite Supermac's
Irish favourite Supermac's

Irish fast-food chain Supermac's has found itself doing battle with yet another multi- national competitor, with Burger King now making a complaint against it.

Supermac's this week lost a battle with McDonald's after EU officials found in favour of the American giant in a trademark dispute.

However, the Irish is now facing a second fight closer to home.

The Herald has learned that Burger King has made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) over an advert aired by Supermac's.

Burger King says the ad, which promotes Supermac's use of 100pc Irish beef in a new burger, is giving it an unfair advantage over competitors.

Founder Pat McDonagh confirmed the company had received a letter from the ASAI in relation to a complaint from a competitor.

"It came the other day, relating to another multinational group objecting to our utilising our Irishness in our ad," he said.

"They say we shouldn't be using that terminology. They claim we're taking ownership of Irishness, implying others are not using Irish meat. But we're simply saying we're the only ones using fresh Irish meat.

Defending

"It relates to our five-ounce fresh meat burger. It's different to what everyone else uses in the fast-food area.

"They claim we shouldn't be using Irishness to have an advantage over international competitors."

Mr McDonagh now plans to make a submission defending the ad.

"We'll just have to await the decision. We hope it won't take too long," he said.

A spokesperson for the ASAI confirmed it was reviewing a complaint against Supermacs.

"We have received a complaint and it is being processed at present," they said.

As the matter relates to a competitive complaint, it is expected to take longer to rule on than a consumer complaint.

Speaking about the EU trademark ruling in favour of McDonald's earlier this week, Mr McDonagh said he planned to appeal the decision.

"It's a little bit confused because we did get the trademark for Supermac's but we can't sell many of our main products. We were granted permission but not for what we sell," he said.

"We can sell chips and pizza but not burgers or chicken nuggets."

Supermac's will open the new Galway plaza next month and has plans for a further plaza in Ennis by the end of the year. The company will also open four more fast-food outlets nationwide.

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