Report: BlackBerry passed on Justin Bieber as a spokesperson; Nokia still wants him

The rapid fall of BlackBerry has been one of the biggest, and perhaps saddest, tech news items of 2013. BlackBerry recently decided to keep going on its own after reported offers of buyouts from several companies did not go through. However, it's still questionable whether or not the business that once was one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world will still be around this time in 2014.

Bloomberg Businessweek posted a new article that quotes a number of former BlackBerry employees, among others, about the history of the company. One funny, but still sad, statement came from Vincent Washington, BlackBerry's senior business development manager for a decade before leaving in 2011. He cited what could have been a huge promotional boost for the smartphones for very little money and effort several years ago, when BlackBerry was still using its Research in Motion name:

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

We are sure that no one is laughing anymore at that missed opportunity to reach a huge new audience. However, Nokia spotted that article and decided to make a pitch for Bieber's endorsement via its Twitter account this week:

The Bloomberg article is quite good on its own as it reveals a number of missteps by BlackBerry, including the failure of executives to realize the impact of Apple's iPhone.

Source: Bloomberg and Nokia USA on Twitter
Justin Bieber image via Shutterstock

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Apparently, a lot of you doesn't see this from a business stand point. At least this guy is willing to become an ambassador of a product line. If he can get his fans to switch to Lumia, it will be a win for Windows Phone - more users, more likely the developers will no longer ignore the ecosystem.

Granted, he isn't my fist choice for Nokia, but it is business. This cannot get any worst than the Kardashians unknowingly giving iPhone a free advert!

This is even worse than that Kutcher dude being named the product engineer for Lenovo!

Guarantee you I buy nothing from either company!

Justin is perfect for NOKIASoft, he turns up late for concerts, he trashes hotel rooms and pees in mop buckets, a perfect match, a perfect brand ambassador, snap him up quick!

Don't taint the Nokia brand with this idiot. Plus we don't want teeny boppers on our OS... they'll screw everything up.

I get they want to use his fame for sales, but it's better to use someone who has fame for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones.

At least MS chooses professional spokespeople like Jessica Alba, Common, Gwen Steffani, Jay-Z, etc.

Personally I don't care what they do, as long as I'm happy with Windows Phone and the hardware it is running on, that is all I care about.

I'm not really into these boy band / teen icon type of celebrities but can think of ANYONE who would be better than this guy, he is a known a-hole. On the flip side he has the most obsessed fans ever and i don't doubt for one second that fans wont want a device he is carrying around.

The stench of having been associated with this "dbag" will linger longer then the small benefit Nokia (or any product) has with his raving pubescent girls (fans). I guarantee 100% that it will chase me away from buying another Nokia phone. Not only that but, those young girls grow up and will look back at how stupid they were and all (I can dream for all but, likely most) will be embarrassed to be associated with anything Bieber. You know we all did stupid things when we are young just look at pictures. Those old enough (like my parents) had dance fever in the 70's (can't get enough of my parents in those outfits), others later dressed like Boy George, Michael Jackson or the Cure in 80's, later silly high-top and rat-tails haircuts in the 90's, today guys are wearing skinny jeans or this generation's dance fever : the hipsters. We all will look back at stupid moves, hopefully not too stupid. Most wish we could erase them. This is one of those moments that could be a stupid move by Nokia. Nokia could look back at this as it's Michael Jackson worship phase; wearing the leather red jacket and the one silver glove. Oh the humanity

Edited by pjosephson, Dec 8 2013, 6:32pm :

Well, to be honest I still like my old Beatles' boots...... Said that, yes there are plenty of other clothing from that period that I would not wear even if paid to do it.

Fisher price UI that looks like it was done by a child, guy barely out of puberty. It's hideous but it fits.

For you, me and many other people yes... But there's a money potential in all these crazy teenage girls, that will want to have same gadgets as their idol.

I feel sorry for those who buy a Nokia phone now. Not only are you a fan of MS, but you're now also a fan of Justin.

Romero said,
Glad you found something you can use for their eulogy.

If Justin Bieber does it free for Apple, but demands money for Blackberry, I wouldn't hire Justin Bieber either

He'd be good for pushing the WP sales (Justin has a WP?!?!?!?! I WANT IT TOOOOOO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK *faints*) but bad for the image overall. Normal people don't like this a-hole.

Dot Matrix said,
NO, NOKIA! NO!

Why the hell no?? If you get a fraction of the device I to the little punk's hand his zombeibers will follow.
1. More adaptations means more developers (more apps).
2. More recognition and parents usually follow their kids (the nontech goobers)
3. Nokia makes enough different devices that you don't have to worry about having one that a kid might have.

so why the hell no??

NO WAY. Jeez, this is my favorite mobile company at the moment. I give props to beebs for playing 'apparently' good music, but other than that, just NO. GTFO.

duk3togo said,

Why the hell no??

Nokia doesn't need some spoiled wuss tarnishing their brand. Especially one who treats her fans like garbage.

Dot Matrix said,

Nokia doesn't need some spoiled wuss tarnishing their brand. Especially one who treats her fans like garbage.


Its about growing the brand. I don't care if he spits on his fans, if they still support the kid that's on them. Nokia needs those kids its just good business.