A guerrilla marketing stunt that left ads for Justin Bieber’s album Purpose spraypainted across San Francisco sidewalks has drawn the ire of the city attorney.
In response to weeks of neighborhood complaints, City Atty. Dennis Herrera sent a letter to executives at Def Jam Records and Universal Music Group on Monday demanding their full cooperation to “identify and punish those responsible” for the graffiti, which has persisted through several rainstorms without washing off.
Calling the ads “infuriating to the San Franciscans I hear from,” Herrera said such defacement “illegally exploits our city’s walkable neighborhoods 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.”
The city attorney said he is looking to “resolve the full scope of wrongdoing and avoid civil litigation.” Per the letter, successful legal action could result in “civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each act of unlawful or unfair competition, remuneration for costs, and injunctive relief.”
The San Francisco ads continued a street-art-themed promo campaign for Purpose, which dropped Nov. 13. Bieber first unveiled the track list with photos of graffitied walls around the globe.
Representatives for Universal and Bieber did not immediately respond to requests for comment.