BlackBerry rejected Justin Bieber as brand ambassador

'He's not going to last' said BlackBerry's gros fromages


Struggling mobe-makers Blackberry knocked back the chance to have pint-sized pop prince Justin Bieber as a brand ambassador at the peak of both RIM and Bieber's careers, claims a senior Blackberry staffer.

The fresh-faced Canadian pop heartthrob asked for $200,000 and a fistful of free handsets to represent RIM, but the now-ailing firm's suits refused his offer on the dodgy grounds that Bieber's days in the limelight were numbered.

According to Vincent Washington, a senior business development manager at RIM between 2001 through 2011, Blackberry apparatchiks predicted Bieber's demise - but totally failed to see their own.

Washington told Businessweek: "One thing we missed out on was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said: 'Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador.' And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said: 'This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.'

Washington continued:

I said at the meeting: “This kid might outlive RIM.” Everyone laughed."

The former BlackeBrry bigwig did not say when Bieber approached RIM.

Blackberry Messenger was once popular among kids as a way of organising riots, but it has fallen out of favour. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Bieber, who earned just under $60m last year.

Despite its CEO's recent claim that "reports of our death are greatly exaggerated," Blackberry posted a loss of almost $1bn in Q2 2014.

What do you think would have happened if the RIM squares became Beliebers? Have a chinwag in the comments below. ®


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