The meat in the 4.9-million Tokyo Roast Beef Burgers and Muffins McDonald’s sold wasn’t quite what people were expecting from their commercials.

Between tempting treats like the Calpis McShake and Pikachu McFlurry, plus genuine generosity such as home-delivering smiles and handing out free iced coffee, sometimes McDonald’s Japan can seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened with a pair of menu items which have gotten the fast food chain in trouble with the Japanese government.

Last summer, McDonald’s added the Tokyo Roast Beef Burger and Tokyo Roast Beef Muffin (pictured above) to its menu, marketing the pair of sandwiches with imagery showing a carving knife slicing into thick hunks of roast beef.

However, those have been deemed deceptively delicious by the Japanese government’s Consumer Affairs Agency. Even though the visuals suggest McDonald’s chefs are working with high-class blocks of beef like you’d find at a fancy buffet the truth is that the majority of the meat (approximately 60 percent) used in the Tokyo Roast Beef Burger and Muffin was composed of separate cuts of meat that were heat-fused together then formed into the shape of roast beef slices, sort of like what happens with the company’s U.S.-available McRib.

The Consumer Affairs Agency’s report called out McDonald’s for the misleading visuals in various forms of advertising media, and was most critical of its use in a TV ad for the sandwiches, with the problematic shot seen at the one-second mark of the video below.

The Tokyo Roast Beef sandwiches were limited-time items, and neither has been offered since September of last year. Nevertheless, the Consumer Affairs Agency has issued an official reprimand and administrative order against McDonald’s, saying the advertisements were in violation of Japan’s Act Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations (or, in less flowery terms, the country’s false advertising prohibition). While the company isn’t being ordered to make any financial restitutions to the purchasers of the 4.9 million Tokyo Roast Beef sandwiches it sold while they were on the market, it has been ordered to inform consumers that the images in its advertising suggested a level of quality significantly different from that which the product actually had, and also take measures to educate its employees about the violation and prevent future such wrongdoing.

McDonald’s maintains that while the meat used in the sandwiches was processed, that did not represent a difference in quality beyond that which it actually provided. Still, it has issued a statement saying “In the future, we will use accurate, easily understood language and imagery in our advertising,” which seems like it’d be nice on their part, since the target market for fast food generally doesn’t want to have to invest a ton of time decoding confusing commercials.

Sources: Japan Consumer Affairs Agency via IT Media, Jiji
Images: Japan Consumer Affairs Agency