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“Two and a Half Men” star and recent headline-grabber Charlie Sheen amassed over a million followers in just over 24 hours yesterday, and he hadn’t posted one tweet.

People may think this was merely Sheen trying to stir up more drama following his excommunication from his own television show. But the star’s primary reason for tweeting? He wants to make money.

According to Edmund Lee at Advertising Age, Sheen, amidst his publicized troubles, has squeezed some bittersweet lemonade out of this media frenzy. By pairing up with internet startup Ad.ly, a company that runs celebrity endorsements in social media, Sheen plans to tap into the $35 million dollars in digital advertising yearly.

Online businesses can learn a thing or two from chief executive of Ad.ly Arnie Gullov-Singh who hasn’t charged Sheen a dime for their services. More than immediate monetary returns, Gullov-Singh stated, “…we just want to be top of mind when they think about monetizing, and if they don’t monetize, that’s OK too.”

Whether Ad.ly will generate significant income from Sheen’s antics (pitching chocolate milk and a juice brand called Naked with his adult-film-star girlfriend on Twitter), one thing is clear: the company, without collecting a dime, quickly positioned itself next to center stage.

And that, for any internet startup in the name of brand recognition and web presence, is priceless.


3 thoughts on “What Can Online Businesses Learn From Charlie Sheen?
  1. Joe Nguyen says:

    At $10,000 per tweet, he’ll have to tweet 125 times to before he makes what he makes in one episode. If I was him, I’d hire a PR team to manage it. Residual income!

  2. Maria says:

    If Sheen works with ad.ly or not, it was a smart move for their team to reach out to him at this pivotal time. As a result, they are now associated with one of the most famous (infamous?) Twitter accounts, gaining a ton of great press and exposure. Kudos to them, and to Alice for this short but sweet blog post!

  3. Mr. Twitter says:

    HaHa Twitter must be killing other social media sites

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