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: Ucluelet engages at open house

“It’s great to have such a terrific turnout.”

Nanaimo RCMP trying to ID people in photos after camera found smashed

“Our investigators believe the wedding took place in September of 2013 in Ucluelet.”

VIDEO: Tofino gets blunt about marijuana legalization

“It’s great to see people engaged.”

UPDATED: Six-hour power outage coming to Ucluelet today

Alcohol not ruled out as a factor in Thursday morning car crash.

Tofino receives $500,000 for housing project

District hopes to add 50 new housing units.

VIDEO: Tofino gets blunt about marijuana legalization

“It’s great to see people engaged.”

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Suspect arrested and charged for assault on autistic man

Parmvir Chahil has strong B.C. ties; two others charged with accessory after the fact

Uber self-driving crash video calls safety, rules into question

Experts say footage shows that vehicle’s sensors should have spotted pedestrian, initiated braking

Capital Region gas prices at their highest since 2008

Filling up is cheaper north of the Malahat

Greens’ Elizabeth May, NDP’s Kennedy Stewart join B.C. anti-pipeline protest

The two politicians could be arrested for violating a court injunction

B.C. man shot by police in 2017 pleads guilty to string of offences

Kaymen Winter gets two years, opts for trial on two charges related to Salmon Arm car wash shooting

Are you going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour?

BC Hydro report says fewer people in the province are taking part, but feel it’s still important

Most Read