CARPINTERIA, CA: A publicity-hungry US burger chain, Carl's Jr., is attacking McDonald's' iconic Big Mac with the launch of Big Carl, which it claims is twice as big as a Big Mac and cheaper at $2.40 (€1.67, £1.44) against Big Mac's $3.50.

Carl's Jr. is owned by CKE Restaurants Inc., which also owns the Hardee's chain. CKE claims to have pioneered the use of Aberdeen Angus beef in its premium fast food burgers and says McDonald's is copying it by introducing its own Angus burger, which was rolled out nationally last month.

CKE CEO Andrew Puzder says being 'copied' by McDonald's is the “highest form of flattery. If they are going to go after us, turnabout is fair play, we'll go after them.”

CKE says it is also likely to introduce a 'Big Hardee' at some point. It is also offering customers their money back if they don't agree that its Angus products, the 'Six Dollar Burger' and the 'Thickburger', both of which contain nearly half a pound of meat, are better than the McDonald's Angus burger.

McDonald's executive chef Dan Coudreaut seems to be taking all this on the chin. “The Big Mac is the Big Mac, it's an iconic product,” he says. “Anyway I don't know if big is always better. You have to find a balance.”

Data sourced from LA Times; additional content by WARC staff