So before nuclear war ends all life on Earth, for shits ‘n giggles, why not have this artwork displayed on billboards right where much of this world altering nuttiness occurs, Washington DC? The people must be alerted, and they won’t even need the glasses!
…It turned out to be a little more difficult than I imagined…
The first billboard company, ‘Clear Channel’, was good to go. I had it all planned out with them before I started the crowd funding. They had seen the “Make America Great Again/They Live’ art and didn’t voice any objections. When I was ready to give them the money to actually install the Washington billboard they got cold feet and changed their minds.
‘Outfront Media’ was the next company that respond to my inquiries. Again, I showed them the art first. They explained the no way in hell was this going to fly in Washington, so I went with a Chicago billboard that was around 25 by 30′ for $2800. I redesigned the art to fit but just as I finished they also emailed with second thoughts and backed out.
I went to ‘Interstate Outdoor Advertising’ and sent them the art. Again, no problem. What I could get for our $3000 was a 14 by 48′ billboard outside of Chicago on I-55. I again redrew the art to fit, signed the contracts and sent them my payment information. Then they came to their senses and said no-go.
I went back to ‘JCDecaux’ a company I had sounded out earlier that only offered those 5′ high panels on the side of bus stops in Chicago. At this point, I’m open to most anything. For $3000 I could have one on Michigan Ave for a month, but a day later this was waiting in my inbox “I’m afraid that since this is political in nature, especially with the bad press Kathy Griffin gave recently, the City will turn down your ad copy” was their thanks but no thanks response.
In all I think I contacted over thirty billboard companies, some that had thousands of ones for rent, and many that had only a few regional offerings. Most didn’t even respond to multiple inquiries. The ones that did, started to realize that this is a President that, in all likelihood, will make it a personal vendetta to destroy whatever company dares mock him. Others were more upfront with their reasoning, “Thanks for your e-mail. I will discuss your artwork and idea with the owner of our company on Monday. However, I need to let you know that we are all huge Trump supporters and we would not post anything on our billboards that would appear to disparage the President in any way. Love Donald Trump!!!!”
Yes, I don’t think much of Donald Trump, but I soft-selled this as much as humanly possible when making the pitch to anyone I could find, but it was a no-go TO EVERY SINGLE BILLBOARD COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES! I thought that was the end of it. But then, cue music, the brave folks across the border, the upstanding heroic citizens of Mexico that Trump based his campaign on objectifying as rapists and criminals, had the cojones to give Trump the FU.
- O’Connell’s Go Fund Me page.. ↩
- A Cold War-era joke, updated: “A Mexican and an American are talking about life in their respective countries. The Mexican says that his country has many freedoms: “I can stand in a public square in Mexico City and say with no fear, ‘The Mexican president is an incompetent imbecile.'”
The American says, “It is exactly the same in America. I can stand in a public square in Washington DC and say with no fear, ‘The Mexican president is an incompetent imbecile.'” ↩