San Francisco

Justin Bieber’s Graffiti Advertising Hits Sour Note with San Francisco Residents

San Francisco spends $20 million per year on graffiti cleanup.

Andrew Sullivan via Twitter

Justin Bieber may be singing a new "sorry" tune if San Francisco residents have anything to say about it.

In a case of guerrilla marketing gone wrong, Bieber and his publicity team have apparently defaced San Francisco sidewalks to advertise the pop singer’s latest album -- and some city taxpayers are not pleased.

The graffiti, which reads "Justin Bieber," "Purpose," and "#Nov13," has been appearing on sidewalks in the city’s Mission District, as well as areas of SoMa and Haight-Ashbury.

Though the white lettering appears to be written in chalk, some Redditors claim to have tried wiping it off but to no avail.

San Francisco natives have been taking to social media to vent their frustrations with the ad gimmick. Many residents are concerned that taxpayers will be left to foot the bill for Bieber’s alleged sidewalk promotion, which has also appeared in Brooklyn, New York and has been a theme throughout the album's promotional campaign. 

San Francisco has long struggled with graffiti, annually spending more than $20 million in taxpayer dollars on clean up initiatives, according to the San Francisco’s public works department. Def Jam Records has not returned requests for comment regarding the graffiti's removal.

Despite the ill-advised marketing campaign, Bieber’s album has received stellar reviews and sold more than 500,000 albums in its first week alone.

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