Arby's takes swipe at McDonald's with fish sandwich campaign

The surf war ensued just before Lent

A nation already polarized over chicken sandwiches is now faced with another fast-food debate: who has the best fish sandwich?

The so-called "surf war" ensued this weekend between two fast-food giants after Arby's took a swipe at McDonald's in a new campaign centered around which chain has the best fish sandwich.

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Arby's, known for "having the meats," debuted a limited-time two-for-$6 offer over the weekend tied to its Crispy Fish Sandwich and the new Fish n’ Cheddar Sandwich. The campaign, which began circulating on social media Sunday, directly compared the limited-time additions offered at Arby's with the Golden Arches version known as the Filet-O-Fish.

McDonald's version consists of breaded whitefish with cheddar cheese and tartar sauce. When it was originally introduced to the menu in 1965 it was the only non-hamburger option and sold for $0.29.

“Fish is meat, too; it’s just ocean meat,” Deborah von Kutzleben, Arby's vice president of advertising, content and core menu told USA Today. "We felt that it was time to take a different approach, to really have people question Filet-O-Fish – and whether or not it is the best – and take a moment to try ours."

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The company also threw out some fighting words in a few six-second videos.

Unsurprisingly, after the first punch was thrown, Twitter took notice.

"Best fish sandwich on the planet!!!! Needs to be on the menu year-round," one Twitter user replied to Arby's tweet.

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The campaign debuted just ahead of Lent, an annual period of Christian observance that precedes Easter where Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays. For the six-week stretch, many will instead dine with fish on Fridays instead. It also comes amid a prolonged battle between the industry's heaviest hitters over the chicken sandwich, which began last August.