Francisco prosecutor has a 'purpose': find Justin Bieber
Send a link to a friend
[December 29, 2015]
By Curtis Skinner
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -
Teen idol Justin Bieber's latest album, "Purpose," may
be garnering big sales, but San Francisco's city
attorney is on the hunt for those responsible for what
he calls a "guerilla marketing" campaign of sidewalk
graffiti promoting the album.
The ads, which City Attorney Dennis Herrera said seemed to
have been spray-painted at several locations, contain the words
"Justin Bieber," "Purpose" and "#Nov13," presumably in reference
to the album's November release date.
"Our sidewalks in San Francisco are not canvasses for corporate
advertising," Herrera said in a letter to executives at Def Jam
Recordings and Universal Music Group, Bieber's record label and
Herrera, in the letter, said he would "aggressively pursue all
available penalties and costs from those responsible."
He said the vandalism "irresponsibly tells our youth that
likeminded lawlessness and contempt for public property are
condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries."
Representatives for Universal Music Group and Def Jam, which is
part of Universal, could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Bieber campaign stencils appeared to have been done in
permanent spray paint and did not wash away in recent rains,
Similar sidewalk graffiti appeared in Manhattan's East Village
neighborhood in November around the time of the album's release,
a Reuters witness reported.
Herrera's office said the album campaign was not the first to
plague San Francisco streets and the issue has re-emerged over
the past year, triggering complaints from residents.
[to top of second column]
Previous vandals used chalk, he said.
Herrera said his office has previously secured financial settlements
for similar campaigns, which have been waged by IBM, NBC Universal,
Turner Broadcasting and Zynga. He said civil penalties for each
instance of graffiti could run up to $2,500.
Ian Kerr, a sales associate with advertising firm OUTFRONT Media,
said advertising on a San Francisco bus shelter could cost around
$400 for a four-week period, while a highway-side billboard could
cost anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000.
In October, Bieber posted images to his Instagram account purporting
to show elaborate graffiti art in several cities of the track names
on the album, including one said to have been drawn in San
Francisco. The city attorney's office did not directly address that
The album, Bieber's fourth and which has scored the best-selling
debut so far in the singer's career, reached the top of the U.S.
Billboard 200 album chart, selling 520,000 albums, 602,000 songs and
being streamed 100 million times in its first week.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie
[© 2015 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2015 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.