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Blackberry was no belieber

According to a new tell-all on the company’s history, RIM (as it was then known) management rejected Justin Bieber’s pitch to be a brand ambassador.


If a meeting played out differently in 2007 Justin Bieber would have been a brand ambassador for Research in Motion, according to Vincent Washington, a RIM senior business development manager who left the company in 2011.

Washington, as quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek’s piece “An Oral History of Blackberry”, said that the Canadian teen sensation pitched the company in 2007 about becoming a brand ambassador. Bieber reportedly wanted $200,000 and 20 devices in exchange for representing the company. But Washington says that marketing executives ultimately killed the deal.

“Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that,” Washington argued to marketing.

“They basically threw us out of the room. They said, ‘This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.’ I said at the meeting: ‘This kid might outlive RIM.’ Everyone laughed,” Washington recounted to Bloomberg.

Fast forward a few years and Blackberry brings on a new brand ambassador: Alicia Keys. Her debut was a rocky one, as many noticed that her initial tweet representing the company was sent from an iPhone. For her part she offered the age-old explanation that she “had been hacked”.

Read the full article over at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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