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.