San Francisco city attorney is pissed at Justin Bieber and co. for the Purpose graffiti ads

San Francisco Irate Over Rampant Justin Bieber Graffiti

In a letter sent to Def Jam and Universal Music Group execs Monday, San Francisco's city attorney decried the label and publisher for alleged guerrilla marketing tactics tied to Justin Bieber's Purpose. The censure doesn't refer to the Nas song mural installed in NorCal, but rather to a slew of permanently stenciled sidewalk graffiti ads that read "Justin Bieber Purpose #Nov 13." (The tags have survived rainstorms and persisted for nearly two months now, because they were applied with spray paint instead of sidewalk chalk.) "This prohibited marketing practice 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 like-minded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries," Dennis Herrera wrote, "including Mr. Bieber and the record labels that produce and promote him."

A release from the city, instructively titled "It's too late now to say sorry," called the ads actionable vandalism, because some citizens have complained about being the singer's billboard and they're tired of corporations taking advantage of weak civil penalties that don't curtail illegal promotion. Herrera has promised to hold the people who participated in the campaign responsible and is requesting Def Jam's help in identifying the taggers. The city's letter ultimately asks for "a proposal to resolve the full scope of wrongdoing and avoid civil litigation." If Herrera's requests are not taken seriously, however, the city attorney's office could sue the responsible parties for court-ordered injunctions, penalties of roughly $2,500 for each ad, and restitution, according to the release. Bieber and Co. have yet to comment, but to read more about the city's call for a guerrilla marketing crack down, head here.

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San Francisco city attorney is pissed at Justin Bieber and co. for the Purpose graffiti ads
Canadian pop megastar Justin Bieber (C) plays basketball with a young survivor of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province on December 10, 2013. Pop megastar Justin Bieber sang to and played basketball with young survivors of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon on December 10 after he flew into the disaster zone to boost an international relief effort. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: The winner of Champ of Charity singer Justin Bieber (L) and singer Cody Simpson onstage at the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards brought to you by Samsung Galaxy at The Wiltern on July 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The Young Hollywood Awards will air on Monday, July 28 8/7c on The CW. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for Variety)
The "Baby" singer headed straight to the salon for a new makeover ... this time going blonde! (Instagram)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 23: Justin Bieber attends a VMA Pre-Party hosted by Chris Brown & Pia Mia featuring Bera on August 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JAN 17: General view of a Justin Bieber for Calvin Klein Billboard located on Houston Street on January 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Tomas/IMAGES/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 15: Singer Justin Bieber arrives at Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace to celebrate his birthday on the nightclub's opening weekend on March 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 07: Singer Justin Bieber attends the 17th NRJ Music Awards ceremony at Palais des Festivals on November 7, 2015 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Justin Bieber and Corey Gamble are seen in Beverly Hills, Ca on January 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Light Brigade/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

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