McDonald’s Canada launched a radio advertising campaign on January 9, 2018 that appeared to negatively reference museums and the value they provide.  The 15-second ad, for McDonald’s Canada’s $5 McPick Meal Deal, compared the value of spending $5 at McDonald’s to spending $5 on a museum tour.

“You could get a museum tour for $5,” the male narrator says. A woman playing the role of a museum guide then cuts in.

“There were dinosaurs and then there weren’t,” she says. “OK, then, exit through the gift shop!”

BC museum professionals and supporters alike quickly responded, voicing their displeasure with the campaign and calling for the ad to be pulled.  The BCMA office received dozens of emails, as well as posts to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The story was picked up by local media and across Canada, including such posts as BC Local News, CBC, and Vice Media’s Munchies food blog.

The ad was removed from the airwaves early on January 11, with McDonald’s Canada contacting many of the involved museum staff and the BCMA with an apology.

The BCMA thanks McDonald’s Canada for listening to the voices of their community, and especially thanks those museum professionals who spoke up for the value of museums.

As a way of framing this event in a positive, informative light, the BCMA sent Ben Fast, Programs & Member Services Coordinator out to find out what $5 at a museum actually can get you.  We hope our quick video response encourages you to visit your local museum!