Entries in Justin Bieber (3)


Advocates Question Justin Bieber's Prepaid Debit Card Endorsement

ABC/RANDY HOLMES(NEW YORK) -- Justin Bieber has been named a spokesman for a prepaid debit card company, raising eyebrows among some consumer advocates who caution against fees associated with the products.

SpendSmart Payments Co., based in San Diego, announced on Friday that the pop star will be a brand ambassador, headlining a series called “Real Talk.” The company says its SpendSmart prepaid card aims to educate families and teenagers about responsible spending habits. It also allows parents to monitor real-time spending online.

Bieber’s publicist did not respond to a request for comment.

“You know when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, so me and my family had to watch the money that we spent,” Bieber explains in a video. “I learned if you have $100 or $100 million, if you spend more than you have, you’re going to go broke.”

Bieber is far from broke now, however. He earned $55 million in the year ending May 2012, Forbes reported. And Bieber is earning $3.75 million for a 14-month contract, plus potential monthly royalties tied to the growth of active SpendSmart cards, according to SEC documents, the New York Times reported.

The deal includes stock options to buy 2 million shares of SpendSmart stock, which was trading around 40 cents a share Friday.

SpendSmart said it won’t comment on the specifics of the deal.

Consumer Reports urged caution related to prepaid cards for exorbitant fees in a report published last year. Among 15 prepaid cards analyzed by Consumer Reports, 14 charged for ATM withdrawals, 13 charged monthly fees from $2.95 to $9.95, while five charged for inactive periods.

Mike McCoy, CEO of the SpendSmart Payments Company defended the card, saying the SpendSmart Prepaid Card gives teens “freedom and independence while also teaching them the fundamentals of  financial responsibility.”

“More importantly, the SpendSmart Card gives parents control over their teens spending habits, supporting them in instilling valuable financial literacy fundamentals,” he said.

Other features include the ability to lock the card from your mobile device and block inappropriate spending as well as many other tools that families can feel safer with, he said.

SpendSmart fees include a monthly fee of $3.95, loading fees of $2.95 from a credit card or 75 cents from a checking account. A single scheduled monthly automatic payment from a checking account is free.

To withdraw from an ATM, there is a fee of $1.50 plus ATM surcharges. For an ATM balance inquiry, it costs 50 cents. SpendSmart charges $3 for 30 days of inactivity.

“Most fees are avoidable and no fees have been changed in light of our partnership with Justin Bieber,” McCoy said. “For the last three years this is and has been available as a prepaid card and not a celebrity card. We’re confident in Justin Bieber’s ability to be an ambassador for our brand, and in his ability to help his generation and their parents talk about responsible spending.”

Michelle Jun, a lawyer with Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, told the New York Times, “We would not recommend that parents use prepaid cards for their teens. It doesn’t help your teen establish a credit history or a relationship with a financial institution, so we recommend going the traditional route and opening up a checking account at your bank or credit union of choice.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Yahoo Buys Justin Bieber-Backed Start-Up

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has given a Justin Bieber-backed company her stamp of approval.  In fact, Mayer liked it so much, she bought it -- her very first acquisition since taking the reins in July.

Yahoo purchased the mobile app Stamped, which was founded in 2011 and is based in New York, for about $10 million.

The purchase vibes with Mayer’s stated goal during the company’s third-quarter earnings call of becoming “a predominantly mobile company.”

“At some point at least half our technical workforce should be working on mobile,” she said.

Mayer verified the acquisition on Twitter with an Instagram photo from Stamped headquarters.

“Got to visit our new acquisition, Stamped, this morning — happy to be reunited with Robby (@rmstein) and his team,” Mayer tweeted last week.

Stamped -- which is backed by a gaggle of celebrity investors, including Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest and Justin Bieber, along with Bain Capital Ventures, Columbia Records, Google Ventures, and The New York Times Company -- lets users keep track of and recommend things like restaurants, books and music to friends online.  Its app was first launched last November.

In a statement about the acquisition, Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president of emerging products and technology, noted that mobile is becoming one of the company’s “most important priorities” and that it is “accelerating our efforts to build a world-class team of mobile engineers, product managers and designers.”

Stamped founders said that the start-up will be creating “a new product and engineering office for Yahoo in New York City’s Bryant Park,” but declined to specify what it is.

Stamped’s iPhone and web app will both be discontinued by the end of the year.

ABC News has a content-sharing partnership with Yahoo.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Spirit Airlines References Bieber Scandal in New Promotion

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIRAMAR, Fla.) -- Spirit Airlines has unveiled a new promotional campaign playing off the Justin Bieber paternity allegations.

The airline’s new “Who’s Your Daddy?” campaign advertises low fares "Justin time for the holidays."

"This sale is sure to last longer than 30 seconds but don’t take any chances, book your flight today!" the ad states.

Bieber has denied he fathered 20-year-old Mariah Yeater’s child and said he has never met the woman.

"Every rumor and lie about me possible has been coming out," Biener tweeted Tuesday. "Just need to ignore."

The 17-year-old singer will take a DNA test when he returns to the United States from Europe, where he is on business, and then he will likely file suit against the woman, according to his representative.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio