Justin Bieber couldn’t finish the year without getting into a little bit of trouble with the law.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera wrote a letter to Def Jam Records and Universal Music yesterday about “illegal and actionable” graffiti used to promote Bieber’s album, “Purpose,” released November 13. The marketing stunt consisted of spraypainted ads across city footpaths, which have persisted through rainstorms and drawn complaints from San Franciscans (as opposed to more easily removed chalk ads).
Herrera wrote that he would “aggressively pursue all available penalties and costs from those responsible for lawless marketing tactics that intend to financially benefit Mr. Bieber and your respective companies.”
This sort of guerrilla marketing is prohibited in the city, and Herrera said that it “illegally exploits our City’s walkable neighbourhoods and robust tourism; intentionally creates visual distractions that pose risks to pedestrians on busy rights of way; and irresponsibly tells our youth that likeminded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries.”
The city attorney is seeking tougher civil penalties for illegal marketing tactics, and legal action could result in “court-ordered injunctions, civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation, and restitution for fees and costs if successful.” Herrera did ask for complete cooperation “to resolve the full scope of wrongdoing and avoid civil litigation.”
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