Byron Allen files $10B lawsuit against McDonald’s

(Byron Allen)

Nothing funny about this. Media mogul and former stand-up comic and Comics Unleashed host, Byron Allen, is suing McDonald’s Corp for discrimination against Black-owned businesses. This on the same day that McDonald’s announced it would increase spending with diverse-owned Media, Content and Production Partners.

Allen’s suit alleges the fast food giant has refused to advertise on some of his digital networks, while it does so on other Caucasian-owned networks. The suit also says McDonald’s main ad agency, Wieden+Kennedy New York, hasn’t solicited bids for spots on the Weather Channel, which Allen acquired in 2018.

Currently, McDonald’s spends less than $5 million, or 0.3% of its annual $1.6 billion advertising budget, with Black-owned media companies. Allen has stated his belief that advertisers should spend at least 5% of their budgets with companies like his.

Earlier Thursday, McDonald’s released a statement saying it would more than double its national advertising spending on minority- and women-owned media businesses to 10% from 4% between 2021 and 2024. Spending with Black-owned properties will rise to 5% from 2% over the period.

This suit is similar to one Allen launched in March against General Motors Co. General Motors now says it will spend as much as 8% of its budget on Black-owned media by 2025, up from just 1% last year.