A New York based business consultancy and its CEO is unrepentant after violating San Francisco graffiti laws then lying and saying the vandalism was permitted.
As the Chron reports, ads for "global business consultancy" Blue Wolf appeared on San Francisco sidewalks this week, urging attendees of the Dreamforce conference to read their "State of Salesforce" report.
As loyal readers know, stuff like that's frowned upon in SF, and is considered a violation by the Department of Public Works.
@suldrew We filed them as an illegal posting. As per DPW this is a violation. SR# 5096383 ^JT— SF311 (@SF311) September 14, 2015
But, wait! According to a Blue Wolf spokesperson who spoke with the Chron, "We have the appropriate permits.” Are SF's streets for sale after all?
Well, we can't answer that in the general sense, but DPW spokesperson (and former Chron scribe herself) Rachel Gordon tells her former colleagues at the paper that the Blue Wolfer is fibbing, and that “We don’t allow advertising on our sidewalks. Our sidewalks are not billboards...It’s essentially advertising on our public property, which is against the law.”
Gordon says that she had contacted the ad agency — an Ohio company called CivitasNow — that did the defacing deeds, and was told that they "had tried to contact several city departments to get permission to post the logos, but was rebuffed"...and apparently decided to go ahead and start writing on sidewalks anyway. Now the company is scrambling to remove the ads, even as the City Attorney’s office mulls action against the company.
Of course, this story wouldn't be complete without someone with the letters "CEO" in their title acting like a choad, would it? Today's entitled ass is Blue Wolf CEO Eric Berridge, who is not only retweeting shots of the illicit ads, but told the Chron that he thinks the ads are "great for the city of San Francisco." (How so, he did not elaborate.)
“I’m sure that it will all work itself out," he told the paper. "Everyone seems to be enjoying it. We went through the proper channels," which you know because you have read this far is not true.
It seems like Berridge and Blue Wolf feel comfortable blowing the issue off because the ads are "all chalk based...So they do wash off," as a spokesperson said. So perhaps Berridge is right and this is no big deal? Not to City Attorny's office spokesperson Matt Dorsey, who says that “If you do it, who is stop[ing] other people from doing it...It also send[s] a message to people who may not be using chalk — to people who are doing all sorts of graffiti vandalism.”
And, unfortunately, the Chron and this blog post right here also add to the ad problem, as Dorsey notes that "part of the nature of guerilla marketing is that even defying the law is getting them publicity.” But is all publicity good publicity? I dunno, ask Greg Gopman!