B.C. museum bites back at fast food giant

Greater Vernon Museum’s social media rant on McDonald’s advertisement gets noticed

Gabriel Newman was offended by the ad. So were other staff members at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives.

Newman, the museum’s education coordinator, heard an ad on a Vernon radio station from fast food giant McDonald’s, saying spending $5 on a McDonald’s lunch was much better than spending $5 at a museum.

Newman posted his disgust with the ad on social media.

“I just think it was off-base,” said Newman. “We’re a non-profit organization. Don’t pick on non-profits.”

The advertisement – which was pulled by McDonald’s Canada late Thursday morning – featured a narrator saying you can get a museum tour for $5, followed by a woman playing a role of a museum tour guide and saying, ‘there were dinosaurs and then there weren’t. OK, then, exit through the gift shop.’

The narrator returns to inform listeners they could spend their $5 on a kid’s meal with a hamburger, fries and drink at participating restaurants.

Newman was interviewed by CBC Radio Thursday morning.

“I’m not sure what museum they (McDonald’s) were talking or thinking about,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve been to a museum.

“It implies that a museum is expensive, or a luxury item. I’m worried somebody that’s never been to a museum will think it’s out of their reach, and $5 really isn’t a lot.”

Related: MICHAELS: Bad McAd leaves a bad taste in my mouth

Part of the problem for Newman and the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is the timing of this.

The ad came out the same week the museum started charging an admission fee for the first-time ever.

“It used to be admission by donation but now it’s $5,” said Newman. “But that’s good for all day.”

Numerous museums across the province shared in his outage of the ad.

“A museum is a place to learn about culture, history, traditions, and so much more. Comparing something like a $5 value meal to the value of education and intellectual growth is quite disheartening; however, we are encouraged to see that McDonald’s reacted so quickly in pulling this ad and apologizing to all Canadian museums,” wrote the Kelowna Museums Society.

Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is also working toward building a new facility. It houses an extensive history of the city and surrounding areas.

Just heard a McDonald's advertisement on 105.7 Sun FM Vernon inferring spending $5 at a museum was a waste of money when…

Posted by Greater Vernon Museum & Archives on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) learned of the offending ad Wednesday and immediately contacted McDonald’s requesting the ad be removed. CMA also requested that McDonald’s consider beneficial ways to work with the museum sector.

McDonald’s Canada has apologized to Canadian museums.

Ben here in the office just got off the phone with McDonald's Canada's Communications team and has confirmed the ad in…

Posted by BC Museums Association on Thursday, January 11, 2018

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

VIDEO: LEGO fundraiser builds playground purse

Inspired families built LEGO creations, helped Silver Creek build playground

PHOTOS: 100 years and counting for Boston Bar school

Boston Bar Elementary-Secondary School celebrates Centennial with a bang

Sunshine Valley songbird releases EP

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Pater has been singing and performing since age 9

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

‘A perfect storm’: Gas prices could hit $1.60 by April, expert says

Prices will shoot up to 155.7 cents a litre by end of week or early next week

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

Most Read