SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Justin Bieber’s guerrilla marketing graffiti stunt in San Francisco may have boosted album sales, but it could cost his recording company thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera was neither impressed nor amused to see the pop star’s Purpose album drop date spray painted on city sidewalks. He plans to take legal action against Def Jam and Universal Music Group.

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(CBS)

(CBS)

In an open letter, Herrera blasted Bieber’s record label and distribution company, referring to the stunt as, “commercially-sponsored graffiti vandalism.”

“This prohibited marketing practice illegally exploits our City’s walkable neighborhoods,” wrote Herrera. He added that such acts “irresponsibly communicate to young people that likeminded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries — including Mr. Beiber and the record labels that produce and promote him.”

(CBS)

(CBS)

Herrera vowed to “aggressively pursue all available penalties and costs,” which could result in up to $2,500 for each violation, along with other penalties.

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The City Attorney has successfully gone after similar violations by such corporations as IBM, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting and Zynga.

San Francisco’s Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru applauded Herrera’s actions.

“Our sidewalks in San Francisco are not canvasses for corporate advertising and we have made that clear… the definition of graffiti is tagging someone else’s property without permission, and they certainly did not have our permission to do this to our sidewalks.”

So far, there has been no response to Herrera’s open letter from Bieber’s camp.


CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.

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