Three years into Donald Trump’s presidency, anti-Trump imagery is common. He’s been lampooned on the cover of Time on multiple occasions, and New York magazine just squashed him under a giant peach.
But athletic wear company Dhvani’s new out-of-home campaign features a more graphic depiction of the president, with a series of images that depict Trump tied up, on the toilet or shushed by women fed up with the actions and the rhetoric of this White House.
In an image titled “Lady Liberty,” running on a Times Square billboard, middle school teacher and Marine Corps veteran Michal Mesa binds a convincing Trump impersonator, her bare foot planted firmly on his face, in a vignette inspired by the superhero Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth.
Another model for the campaign is Chloe Mason, chief communications officer at Dhvani, who appears in warrior and tree yoga poses, silencing a bound Trump with one finger. In another photo, the president is seated on a gold toilet, pants around his ankles, as his smartphone is grabbed out of his hands.
Media buys for what is intended to be a controversial ad posed a few challenges. Vendors sell space in Times Square, but billboard owners can also refuse specific ads. “We were able to work with our vendor and reach a consensus on the level of facial obfuscation that would appease the landlord and get this bold, pull-no-punches, call-to-arms creative up and in front of potentially millions of like-minded Americans,” says Angela Williams, chief marketing officer at Dhvani.
The company says workers have been upset by the president’s imposition of the Title X gag rule, which prevents federal funds from going to clinics that perform or refer patients for abortions. Portland-based Dhvani is giving five percent of its gross sales through the end of the year to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.
After learning of the campaign, Planned Parenthood refused any donation. “Planned Parenthood does not endorse this campaign, nor will we be accepting funds raised by this campaign. Our staff members have faced threats and acts of violence for doing their jobs, and many of our patients turn to us as their safe space for care after facing violence in their lives. We do not condone violence or violent imagery against anyone," said Melanie Newman, SVP of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement.