Web Exclusive

Banned in the US: Cardboard Justin Trudeau

There’s no doubt that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is popular. The young (well, politically speaking) 45-year-old politician is charming and affable, with the celebrity appeal of a rock star. It also doesn’t hurt that he has great hair!

What’s not entirely clear is why life-sized, cardboard cutouts of the popular PM have been barred from all Canadian-themed promotional events in the U.S. The ban comes just days after one of the cutouts was spotted at the annual South By Southwest festival in Texas, where throngs of adoring fans lined up at the Canadian tourism booth to take social-media selfies with Cardboard Justin. Just see for yourself:

Apparently, Global Affairs Canada got wind of this trend and put an abrupt end to it, but for reasons that are unclear. The New York Times is reporting that it has something to do with the government trying to wrest control of Trudeau’s image from the masses, while other media outlets suggest political party squabbling might be at play.

"Canadian brand is much more than the prime minister,” Conservative party spokesman John Brassard told the CBC. “A life-size, two-dimensional cut-out is probably a perfect metaphor for everything that Justin Trudeau represents. You've got the shallow facade, and yet there's very little in the way of depth or substance there."

Ouch.

Regardless of the reason for the ban, the cardboard Canadian has been given the kibosh and we’re a bit bummed about it. Why? We’d love to add him to our collection of promotional cutout politicians here at ASI headquarters. If you see him, let him know he’ll always have a spot somewhere in our promotional archives … most likely right between Flat Donnie and Cardboard Clinton.