The Mix

Graffiti artists: so hard to please!

Pissed-off San Franciscans respond to Sony's attempt at edgy marketing.
Poor widdle Sony. They just can't do anything right these days.

Fresh on the heels of a recent scandal wherein Sony BMG secretly infected customer computers with spyware, the company is being lambasted again -- this time for its misguided attempts to co-opt graffiti culture.

According to Wired magazine, Sony's ad campaign for PlayStation Portable is being bashed online -- as well as in full, glorious color on walls and billboards across San Francisco.

It began when Sony hired graffiti artists to "spray-paint buildings with simple, totemic images of kids playing with the gadget."

But hip kids in San Francisco (AlterNet's home base) weren't having it, and some critics voiced their disgust by spray painting over the offending images.

One miffy sort in SF's Mission district scrawled "Get out of my city!" across the Sony-sponsored image. Another angry artist in the same nabe spray-painted through "every character of Sony's faux-art, adding the commentary, 'Advertising directed at your counter-culture.'"

Next time a stodgy old electronics company tries to look young 'n hip 'n streetwise, let this be a reminder that it's impossible. Sorry.
Laura Barcella is AlterNet's front page editor.