The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising: everyday objects that mean so much

Chris Griffin, the CEO of the Museum, explains how its move to a new home will allow it to make full use of the museum’s educational, therapeutic and entertainment potential.

“The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising was originally opened in Gloucester in 1984, eventually becoming a charity and then finding a London home in Notting Hill in 2005. Rapid growth meant that by 2013 we had already outgrown our premises and so we found a new site in Lancaster Road that would allow us to really fulfil our potential.

“We had some difficult negotiations though, which meant the fundraising campaign couldn’t really get going and we found ourselves suddenly faced with having to make the purchase and complete the building works in a very short period. We needed help. Our brokers contacted Charity Bank and it offered us a great deal.

“I don’t even want to go back and think about what would have happened without Charity Bank. Its loan enabled us to go from completing a purchase in March 2015 to opening the renovated museum before the end of the same year, a remarkably short period. Without it we would have been very challenged to complete the building and fitting-out of the museum in time. We received encouragement from Charity Bank’s team throughout the process and they gave as much clarity as they could; there would’ve been far more sleepless nights without Charity Bank.

“The museum presents an incredible collection that goes across so many different topics, from consumer history, design and graphics to typography and marketing. We show not only the brands, packaging and advertising, but the things that defined consumer society at that time. It appeals to the public on the grounds of nostalgia and entertainment, but it’s also a resource for industry professionals.

“Now that we’re settled in the new premises, we plan to grow our educational delivery considerably. We’re also looking to work with big organisations to scale up our work with dementia sufferers. We’re a valuable and unique resource because people relate to the items in our museum in such a personal way. It’s the everyday things that stimulate parts of the brain in a way that nothing else can.”

“…there would’ve been far more sleepless nights without Charity Bank.”

Chris Griffin, CEO of the Museum
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The museum displays around 12,000 historic items

Jess has been volunteering in the Learning Department at the Museum of Brands since November 2016; she tells us about the educational and social impacts she has experienced.

“I started volunteering here as I wanted to get some experience in the museum sector to complement my Masters in Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture. The highlight for me so far has been leading the learning workshops. This has given me a real confidence boost for speaking to large groups, which I have been able to apply to my master's course presentations.

“The museum has such educational value, for me as a volunteer as well as for visitors. From the perspective of the Learning Department, it offers a space outside the classroom in which students can think critically about brands and consumer culture in a fun and creative way. Another important aspect of the museum is that it acts as a social place that can facilitate discussion and critical thinking about the world around us.

“Ultimately my goal is to be a museum curator, but helping in the Learning Department has made me realise how essential this side of the museum is too. I’m even hoping to collaborate with the museum to create a public drop-in for my dissertation.”

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The museum is settled in its new refurbished premises

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The museum covers topics from consumer history, design and graphics to typography and marketing