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'It's in poor taste': Twitter apologizes for marketing campaign in San Francisco

The city said this is not the first time a company has done something like this

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SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – Twitter's latest marketing campaign is raising questions about whether the San Francisco-based company broke the law.

The advertisements can be seen on San Francisco sidewalks, walls and columns. But it's another place they were found that is triggering some controversy and an apology from Twitter.

In the Tenderloin, steps from where people are sleeping on the streets and in tents, Twitter has stenciled tweets on sidewalks, according to NBC Chicago

"I think it's in poor taste," said Sidney Cox, who lives and works in downtown San Francisco.

The city says it's against the law to use sidewalks as billboards. 

"That's graffiti vandalism, and it's very illegal," said Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Public Works spokesperson.

Twitter responded with the following apology: "We looked into what happened and identified breakdowns in the process for meeting the cities' requirements for our chalk stencils. We're sorry this happened."

The city said this is not the first time a company has done something like this and it makes no difference whether the stenciled tweets are chalked or spray-painted. If city crews have to remove the stencils, Twitter will have to foot the bill.