McDonald's Commercial Featuring Petaluma Sparks Uproar From Residents

A new McDonald's commercial for its Egg White Delight McMuffin has some Petaluma residents up in arms.

The Northern California town, known for it farming traditions and farm-to-table philosophy, is featured in McDonald’s new ad campaign. The town has two locally owned McDonald’s franchises.

Some residents say McDonald’s is using the rural community to improve the image of the fast food chain.

“The dairy industry, the cow industry, chickens, the eggs, fruit, vegetables. That’s what it’s about. It has nothing to do with McDonald’s,” said Petaluma resident John Vieira.

The scene in the ad features an old farm truck, rolling through the town’s green hills and cuts to a shopkeeper sweeping his sidewalk in front of a vintage-style sign.

“Nestled away in Northern California, in the quaint town of Petaluma, you’ll find a locally owned restaurant where people come together for a great sandwich: fresh grilled egg whites, melted white cheddar, all on a toasted muffin,” the add says about the 250-calorie sandwich.

“Lovin’ is local,” the 30-second add says at the end.

Residents of Petaluma, once known as the "egg capital of the world," are angry McDonald's was allowed to shoot the commercial in town.

"I was a bit astonished by the outcry," said Marie McCusker with the Downtown Petaluma Association.

McCusker said the McDonald's film crew followed all the rules, paying $266 for a permit to shoot downtown on Kentucky Street.

"I think the value is it portrayed Petaluma as a beautiful place -- agriculture, hometown downtown portrayed well," McCusker said.

The McGuire's Irish Pub sign also made the final cut of the commercial.

Owner Joe Pelleriti said while he understands the community uproar, he thinks the community should be proud.

"I thought we came across looking great," Pelleriti said. "If McDonald's wants to piggy back on any small town (they) couldn't pick a better one than Petaluma."

The owner of the local McDonald's franchises did not return calls seeking comment late Wednesday.

A McDonald's national spokesperson said Petaluma provided a perfect backdrop for its commercial.

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