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Mission District graffiti'd with skateboard brand's ads

Mission District graffiti'd with skateboard brand's ads
Photo: Doctor Popular/Twitter
By Jay Barmann - Published on August 09, 2021.

Another company has run afoul of San Francisco ordinances and spray-stenciled ads on sidewalks in the Mission District.

Tipster Doctor Popular writes, "Huf, a corporate skateboard company, has at least 10 ads with a few blocks of our house on the city's bike lanes and sidewalks. In particular near Duncan and Valencia, a popular skate spot in our hood."

He adds, on Twitter, "Corporate ads on public sidewalks suck. It’s lame when Microsoft or Justin Bieber’s marketing team does it, and it’s lame that @hufworldwide
is doing it in SF now."

Hoodline has reported in the past on illegal sidewalk advertising like this, in particular when Lady Gaga's promotional team stenciled ads for her album "Joanne" all over the Castro. The Department of Public Works vowed to send the record company a bill for their cleanup efforts, and the City Attorney has said in instances like this that the culprits behind such spray-stencils can be fined $2,500 per instance of the stencil.

These ads were also used to advertise albums from Justin Bieber and Edward Sharpe in the last decade, and the deYoung Museum's marketing department spray-stenciled ads for the museum's "Summer of Love" exhibition in 2017, not knowing this was illegal. They quickly apologized.

"This prohibited marketing practice illegally exploits our City’s walkable neighborhoods and robust tourism," said City Attorney Dennis Herrera in a 2015 statement in response to the Bieber graffiti. "[It] intentionally creates visual distractions that pose risks to pedestrians on busy rights of way; and irresponsibly communicates to young people that likeminded lawlessness and contempt for public property are condoned and encouraged by its beneficiaries — including Mr. Bieber and the record labels that produce and promote him."

The ads are typically done with washable spray-chalk, but the fines remain the same regardless of whether the ads are done with paint.

HUF's ads arrived late last week in conjunction with the opening of a new HUF store at 968 Valencia Street. HUF is an apparel brand that also sells skateboard decks and accessories, and they celebrated the store launch with a Friday party at City Station (the parking lot at 18th and Valencia).