February 8, 2024

Byron Allen To Appeal Dismissal Of $100M McDonald’s Lawsuit Over Black Media Ad Spend

Byron Allen

Byron Allen, the owner of Allen Media Group (AMG), has announced he plans to appeal a judge’s dismissal of his lawsuit against McDonald’s.

The Lawsuits

Allen first filed a $10 billion federal lawsuit against McDonald’s in 2021, alleging its advertising practices perpetuate racial stereotyping and violate civil rights laws at the federal and state levels.

Allen then sued McDonald’s again in 2023, claiming the corporation had lied about its commitment to Black-owned media.

In May 2023, Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. and Weather Group LLC filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s seeking damages over $100 million for fraud and false promise, violating California Civil Code 1711.

In May 2021, McDonald’s pledged to increase its advertising spend with Black-owned media companies from 2% to 5% of its total budget by 2024.

However, Allen contends that the corporation should have honored their commitment.

Allen Appeals Dismissal

Now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Recana has dismissed Allen’s $100 million fraud lawsuit based on her finding that McDonald’s was likely to win if it continued.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a declaration to the court, AMG Chief Revenue Officer Darren Galatt said that the company submitted a $30 million ad spend proposal to McDonald’s.

McDonald’s, however, rejected the offer and agreed to spend only a fraction of that amount.

He also stated that McDonald’s must spend roughly $25 million with Black-owned media by this year to reach its goal.

The judge said there were still 11 months remaining for McDonald’s to follow through with its commitment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a McDonald’s executive, it was claimed in the court that McDonald’s would split its national ad budget with Black-owned media companies, production houses, and content creators.

Despite the ruling, Allen Media Group’s lawyer, Louis Miller, said it would be appealed.

He additionally declared that Allen Media Group is still moving forward with a separate lawsuit against McDonald’s, which claims the company has racial stereotyping through a tiered advertising structure including an “African American tier” that has a smaller advertising budget.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.