BlackBerry rejected teen pop sensation Justin Bieber as its brand ambassador in 2007.
Bieber approached the company six years ago offering to take up the position for $200,000 ( £122,000) and 20 devices, but the company’s marketing department said he was a “fad”.
This is according to a ‘oral history of BlackBerry’ in the latest issue of Bloomberg Business Week, which saw the media network interview former employees including managing director from 2007-12 Ray Gillenwater.
Vincent Washington, who was RIM senior business development manager from 2001-11, said: “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.”
Bieber, who like BlackBerry is from Ontario, Canada, was discovered a year later in 2008 by American talent manager Scooter Braun. In the previous 12 months, he has earned an estimated $55 million ( £34 million) and as of May 2012, he had sold more than 15 million albums. He also has more than 47 million followers on Twitter.