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McDonald’s Canada removes radio ad after offending museums

McDonald’s Canada removes radio ad after offending museums

McDonald’s Canada found itself in hot water last week after airing a national radio ad that seemed to suggest that $5 would be better spent in one of its restaurants than on a visit to a museum.

The 15-second radio ad suggested that the money would be better spent on a kid’s meal than on taking a child on a museum tour to look at dinosaurs. News of the ad prompted a backlash on social media after number of Canadian museums complained about it, including Tracy Calogheros, CEO of The Exploration Place in Prince George, British Columbia, after hearing it on a local radio station.

In an interview on CBC, Calogheros said she realised that criticising museums was not the goal of the ad, but that:

“Museums right across the country are generally speaking not for profit and /or registered charities so to have an organisation that is a multinational for profit company trash us to feed their bottom line really is disgraceful.”

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) also contacted McDonald’s requesting the ad be removed, and that McDonald’s consider beneficial ways to work with the museum sector. According to CMA, the Senior Vice-President of Marketing for McDonald’s Canada called CMA’s John McAvity to apologise to Canadian museums, and to confirm the ad has been cancelled.

McDonald’s Canada also made a number of other apologies, including directly to Calogheros, as well on social media.


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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