A New Zealand skateboarding brand has declared ‘Religion is garbage’ with a series of deliberately controversial posters hitting the streets of central Auckland.
The posters for Eshe Skateboarding, created in the style of the famous cartoon series Garbage Pail kids, subvert religious figures from Christianity, Hinduism and Scientology.
One image shows Hollywood actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise dressed as Ali G, with the slogan ‘Scientolo G’.
They are the second in the series of the brand’s anti-religion campaign that launched in 2010. The first featured an image of the Islamic prophet Muhammad with a bomb strapped to his body and the slogan ‘Tick-tock Muhammad’.
A spokesman for Eshe told Mumbrella: “Skateboarding used to be edgy back in the 90s. Everything today seems very tame, boring and to be honest, the way the religion wants a special exemption from criticism and free speech being held hostage by fanatics, pisses us off. We decided it would be fun to use satire to make a point, rather than yet another boring as hell logo design.”
On whether the campaign was deliberately provocative, he said: “Absolutely. The freedom to be offensive is important.”
The first phase of the campaign featured a subversive image on the leader of Hillsong, a powerful pentecostal church led by New Zealander Brian Houston.
The first phase of the campaign resulted in a number of complaints to New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority – but they were not upheld.
The new poster executions have been printed on limited edition skateboards.