A fast-food radio spot that left a bad taste in the mouth of the museum community has been pulled.
The McDonalds advertisement for their new McPick meal starts out with a male narrator.
“You could get a museum tour for five dollars.”
A female voice cuts in: “There were dinosaurs, and then there weren’t. OK then, exit through the gift shop!”
“Or, you could get a McDonalds McPick meal,” the narrator says.
The whole thing clocks in at around 15 seconds, but has triggered some negative feelings among museum supporters.
“They’re suggesting five dollars is better spent on a hamburger than on lifelong learning,” says Laura Young, Revelstoke Railway Museum executive director. “Personally, I think five dollars is better spent on a child’s education than a hamburger.”
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This morning, McDonald’s Canada confirmed the ad was cancelled.
“While McDonald’s Canada’s intention was not to denigrate museums and cultural organizations, they noted that they received many comments from people across Canada and heard the message loud and clear,” the BC Museums Association wrote on Facebook Thursday morning. “The BCMA thanks them for their quick action in removing the ad and recognizing the impact it had on our community.”
Revelstoke Museum & Archives is a member of the BCMA.
Curator Cathy English thought the museum community reacted quickly to the ad, noting that the issue caught the attention of the Canadian Museums Association.
“It didn’t come across very good,” she said of the ad. “It came across as quite demeaning to museums.”
A Facebook post on the Museum & Archives’ page about the McDonald’s ad generated discussion on social media.
“WOW!!! I think they’ve made a huge marketing error. A fast food burger over history/culture???” wrote one person. “What were they thinking???”
“I hear the ad on my way to work on the radio and I can’t help but think of how distasteful and disrespectful it is,” wrote another.
The museum asked if people preferred a burger or a trip to the museum and English said most people chose the museum.
“I think it’s made people realize that they love their museums,” she said. “There’s not too many people saying I’d rather have a burger than go to a museum.”