Charlie Sheen to pitch products on Twitter, sets Guinness world record
Charlie Sheen has a new job: He's been hired to pitch products on Twitter.
Just a day after starting up a Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, Sheen had amassed more than 910,000 followers the micro-blogging site, landing his user account among the fastest-growing the website has ever had.
And then, Thursday morning, Guinness World Records said on its Facebook page that Sheen was in fact the fastest to ever hit 1 million followers on Twitter, which he did in 25 hours and 17 minutes.
That news was followed by word that Sheen signed with Ad.ly, a Beverly Hills firm that writes messages from celebrities' Twitter or Facebook accounts to endorse products or brands. The celebrities are paid for each message.
"Brands lined up to advertise on 'Two and a Half Men' because of the show's reach, and they'll do the same with celebrities like Charlie because of who he reaches," said Arnie Gullov-Singh, chief executive of Ad.ly. "He's the guy who's had the No. 1 show on television for the last seven years, and he's been getting a lot of coverage lately from traditional media."
Sheen has been getting a lot of media coverage since "Two and a Half Men" was put on hiatus, a decision CBS and Warner Bros. Television said was "based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition."
With Ad.ly, Sheen is joining a stable of more than 1,000 celebrities who include all three Kardashian sisters, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol of the L.A. Lakers, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former-boxer Mike Tyson, and musicians Linkin Park, Enrique Iglesias and 50 Cent.
The celebrities are paired with more than 150 brands for specific ad campaigns, including companies such as Sony, Microsoft, Old Navy, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and American Airlines.
Sheen has struck some pitchman-style poses in recent Twitter messages, though he has been paid for no tweets as of yet, Ad.ly spokeswoman Krista Thomas said.
Sheen's first message on Twitter said, "Winning..! Choose your Vice..." and linked to a photo of Sheen holding a bottle of chocolate milk, with porn star Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice smoothie.
On Wednesday afternoon Sheen sent out a message that said, "Still Winning..! Pong!" and showed the actor using his fingers to frame the DirecTV logo, displayed on a wall-mounted TV.
Neither Naked nor DirecTV paid Sheen or Olson for the photos, Thomas said.
"It's up us to bring the right brand, the right opportunity to Charlie," Thomas said. "We're working on opportunities right now and Charlie is open to that. But the stuff he's already done has all been Charlie being Charlie. It's all organic, and he hasn't been paid to do anything he's done so far."
Sheen's boom on Twitter is, in part, the result of highly publicized troubles in his personal life such as drug use and production problems for the CBS TV show "Two and a Half Men," in which Sheen stars.
It wasn't until many media critics called the interviews a public meltdown that Sheen looked to Twitter, at the suggestion of a friend.
Sheen's friend called Ad.ly and Ad.ly called Twitter to grab the @CharlieSheen user account (which was being used by an impostor) and the relationship began then, said Gullov-Singh.
"Our guys sat down with Charlie for a couple hours and gave him the 101 on how to do it," Gullov-Singh said.
And although Sheen and Ad.ly are expecting to profit from the TV star's sudden social-media popularity, Ad.ly hasn't yet been paid for anything it's done in helping Sheen build his presence on Twitter, the CEO said.
"There's no need for us to charge for the sort of thing we did for Charlie," Gullov-Singh said. "We do the same thing for a number of other celebrities. We just want to be top of mind when they think about monetizing, and if they don't monetize, that's OK too."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photos: Charlie Sheen in photos he distributed on Twitter. Credit: Charlie Sheen