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Justin Bieber’s Graffiti Rampage in SF

Lame ‘guerrilla marketing’ graffiti campaign has SF pissed off
By - posted 1/1/2016 No Comment

Justin Bieber and his record label are in trouble with the city of San Francisco for using graffiti to market the pop star’s shitty new album, “Purpose.” The stenciled graffiti appear on sidewalks all over the city and unfortunately hasn’t washed off with the recent rains.

And rather than use chalk-based art, it appears that the singer’s team used permanent paint.

And because there’s apparently nothing else interesting going on, this has become a world-wide story, getting reported not only by Hoodline (local love!) and SF Gate, but CNN, Vanity Fair, the Syndey Morning Herald (yes, even in Oz) and the delightful rag that is the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

Here’s a list of some of the terrible puns used to report it.

  • “It’s too late for Justin Bieber to say “Sorry” in San Francisco.” – CNN
  • “San Francisco would like to know if Justin Bieber is sorry.” – Sydney Morning Herald
  • I don’t Belieb it!” – Daily Mail

The city wants Bieber’s representatives to pay to clean up the streets of what City Attorney Dennis Herrera calls stunt “Illegal graffiti marketing.” Herrera told CNN that the city may seek $2,500 per violation. But it’s a drop in the bucket as SF spends around $20 million in taxpayer money removing graffiti every year.

Until then, the residents of the city with good musical taste have started to take matters into their own hands altering one of the signs to say “Justin Bieber serves no Purpose.” True that.

San Francisco has successfully prosecuted other large corporations for similar stunts. In 2001 SF got IBM to pay $103,00 for illegal spray painting of logos throughout the city and NBCUniversal in 2014 paid $103,000. More recently, an advertising agency in 2010 paid the city $45,000 after a stunt that involved gluing fake money to sidewalks to promote a Zynga game.

We’ve got an idea. Why not just glue $45,000 of real money to the streets and keep the lawyers out of it.