San Francisco prosecutor has a 'purpose': find Justin Bieber taggers

Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:51pm EST
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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 distribution company.

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, Herrera said.

Similar sidewalk graffiti appeared in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood in November around the time of the album's release, a Reuters witness reported.   Continued...

Justin Bieber shows off his Calvin Klein underwear as he attends a musical event hosted by Calvin Klein Jeans in Hong Kong, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip