A complaint from The Exploration Place has prompted McDonald’s to pull radio ads playing across the country.
The Exploration Place CEO Tracy Calogheros was driving home after work last week when she heard the ad on the local station 99.3 The Drive.
“I treated to a new, national McDonald’s radio ad that manages, in 15 seconds or less, to belittle not only my 24 years in the museum industry but the work of tens of thousands of museum professionals, our millions of visitors, members, funders and deeply committed sponsors,” she said in a news release.
The ad dismissed museum programming and gallery content and suggests to listeners that museums are just pushing people to their gift shops and suggested that $5 would be much better spent at McDonalds.
“In a market like Prince George there is only one museum featuring dinosaurs and a gift shop and this ad feels like a direct attack on the Exploration Place Museum + Science Centre which, intended or not, is directly damaging to our brand and to our relationship with our community,” Calogheros said in the release. “We have spent years developing an award-winning, community institution that is relevant and engaging but according to McDonald’s new ads, it was all a waste of time because people are much better served by the five minutes of empty calories and salt being promoted in their new radio campaign.”
Other museums had noticed the ads and had similar complaints. Calogheros contacted the radio station which put her in contact with McDonald’s, which agreed to pull the ads.