An ex-Googler is facing an £8,000 fine after his startup's logo was graffitied on the streets of London

Rich PleethScreenshotSup founder Rich Pleeth.

Sup, the London startup founded by ex-Googler Rich Pleeth, is facing a fine of around £8,000 for graffiti.

The company, whose app helps people to see which of their friends are nearby, is being pursued by Hackney Council.

The council wants Sup to pay £80 for every Sup logo that has been stencilled onto the pavements of its borough, according to Pleeth.

When asked how many times the company’s logo has been graffitied onto the streets around Shoreditch, Pleeth estimated around 100. As a result, Sup could be facing a fine of around £8,000.

“I am currently negotiating with them to get it much lower, but they also want us to clean it off, which defeats the purpose,” Pleeth told Business Insider via email on Monday.

A Hackney Council spokesman confirmed the council is aware of the graffiti and that it is illegal. However, the spokesman said that the cost of the fine was likely to only be around £240, “plus the cost of cleaning the graffiti.”

The council did not immediately respond when Business Insider asked how much the graffiti clean-up is likely to cost.

Pleeth says the graffiti, which encourages people to download the Sup app, was carried out by “over-keen brand ambassadors.”

Sup isn’t the first organisation to run into trouble with Hackney Council for graffiti.

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was also found to be breaking the law with recruitment ads sprayed last year near Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout, while dating app Bumble laid down similar stencils earlier this year.

“Although the GCHQ adverts was a high profile case, the streets around Shoreditch are managed by five different authorities and we did not have evidence of any adverts being on streets that we manage,” said a Hackney Council spokesman. “Therefore, GCHQ was not fined. We have, however, fined other companies for illegal adverts sprayed onto pavements, including Bumble.”

NOW WATCH: There’s a scientific reason we’re addicted to checking our phones

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at

Tagged In

google sai-us sup uk