McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada has apologized and pulled a national radio ad that encouraged people to buy its fast food offerings rather than visit a museum after Canadian museums pushed back.
Company spokesman Adam Grachnik said the 15-second ad, which played-down how interesting a dinosaur museum could be, was meant as a humorous promotion and in no way meant to offend.
“We appreciate that museums are trusted, respected and informative places about Canadian culture and apologize for any offence,” he said in an email.
Tracy Calogheros, CEO of Exploration Place in Prince George, B.C. raised concerns about the ad after hearing it on a local radio station.
She said she was taken aback at a company suggesting people not support important institutions like museums, and that people forget most museums are charities.
Calogheros said McDonald’s contacted her personally to apologize for what she said was a poorly thought-out ad.
“I just think they had blinders on with their ad campaign and just didn’t really see the impacts of the message they were sending.”
She said museums build community and foster interesting discussions that leave visitors with positive lasting effects.
“The lasting effects coming out of a museum are something that more people are in pursuit of than the same lasting effects you may get out of a fast-food visit.”
The Canadian Museums Association said in a release that it had also asked that McDonald’s remove the ad and has requested that the company consider beneficial ways to work with the museum sector.
The association said McDonald’s also contacted its executive director John McAvity to apologize for the ad.