{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Twitter is proving to be a popular destination for television celebrities once they find themselves removed from the small screen. Take Conan O'Brien, for instance, who can probably attribute some of his post-Tonight Show success to the social media presence he built up following his split with NBC.

The latest television star to find himself on the popular microblogging site, however, might be the most interesting, and not necessarily in a good way.

After finding his show cancelled and going on a media rampage against his former employer, Charlie Sheen is now on Twitter. The world can thank a company called Ad.ly for Sheen's new Twitter account, which has acquired nearly one million followers in little more than a day.

Ad.ly is a company that facilitates social media endorsements (read: paid tweets) on Twitter and Facebook, and according to Arnie Gullov-Singh, the company's CEO, Sheen is "probably the biggest name in media right now".

So his company couldn't help but reach out to Sheen's people and arrange for the (former) Two and Half Men star to offer up bizarre behavior 140 characters at a time.

Many, of course, think that the attention being lavished on Sheen is unwarranted, and many also believe that it's tragic given Sheen's behavior.

After all, some believe Sheen is not in the best mental condition, which has sparked an intense debate over the role the media and journalists may be playing in making a potentially bad situation worse.

With this debate in mind, Sheen's newfound Twitter fame raises some interesting questions:

  • Is Ad.ly taking advantage of Sheen by signing him up for Twitter, ostensibly in hopes that it can monetize his popularity? Some of Ad.ly's celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, reportedly earn five-figure payouts for single tweets, so Sheen's new Twitter account is, on paper, a valuable asset for Ad.ly.
  • In rushing to give Sheen the CharlieSheen username and verify his account, something it rarely does these days, is Twitter also taking advantage of Sheen to ensure that its platform becomes a big part of an eyeball-grabbing media circus?

    Already, Sheen is reportedly one of the most talked-about subjects on Twitter, so having him tweeting is certainly a boon for the site's traffic.

  • Are there any mainstream marketers that would actually consider associating their brands with Sheen?

    According to the company, it has more than 1,000 of "the most influential celebrities on Facebook and Twitter" in its stable, and it works with advertisers to match them with the "right celebrities" to execute "scalable endorsements that engage and resonate." Yet it's unclear whether Sheen is the "right celebrity" for any brand at this point.

Obviously, Sheen is an adult, and he hasn't, for instance, been involuntarily committed. So there's an argument to be made that nothing unethical is going on here, even if it leaves some shaking their heads in dismay.

Given that professionals think something is probably amiss with Sheen, it's worth wondering whether Ad.ly and Twitter have taken themselves down a very low road.

From this perspective, the story behind Sheen's Twitter account reveals that social media is a lot more like the traditional media than most would like to believe.

Social media is supposed to be more authentic and empathetic; relationships and substance are said to matter. Even the people behind some of the most popular social media properties, like Twitter, try to promote 'social good' through their their platforms.

But when it comes right down to it, @CharlieSheen suggests that underneath the facade, social media is just as interested in eyeballs and money, whatever the human cost, as traditional media.

Patricio Robles

Published 3 March, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2381 more posts from this author

Comments (15)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Typo Spotter

Typo "Gven that professionals think something"

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Col Skinner

Charlie Sheen needs to be brought down to earth for some serious help and the only way that is going to happen is if Twitter, Two and A Half Men and every other entity that massages his ego and wallet just leaves him to it.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Rufus Dogg

If we can all be honest with ourselves for just a minute, http://www.dogwalkblog.com/you-wish-you-were-charlie-sheen.html Now you can go back to your normal self.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Susan Taylor

I think it is the tragedy that has led to the fascination and following. You have a person who outwardly would appear to have everything. He is living a life of fantasy.
How many people would actually trade his lifestyle and the tormented look in his eyes, for the feeling they get when they come home from work, kiss their wife, and tuck their kids into bed at night, knowing that it will all be there tomorrow.
He has become the character he plays on Two ans A Half Men on overdrive.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Karen

I think you are adding to the media hype Charlie is getting and now more people will go on to see the Tweets, shame on you. Your jumping on the band wagon and taking advantage it as well. Am I wrong? nope.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Julius Duncan, Social Brand Consultant at Lawton Comms Grp

There are some concerns. Not least, the first time he posts an inappropriate picture of one of his parties! However, the main point is that he now has a platform to take his message direct to the public, without the 'spin' of other powerful agendas. That shows the incredible power of self-publishing, and it will be intriguing to watch the mainstream media pore over Sheen's Twitter feed for scoops. It's in his hands.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Goober

I don't think its an interesting question to try to understand if Sheen could be associated with a brand. Why do media writers think it is important to associate vacuous celebrity with a brand? I am amazed you would even bring this into the conversation having agreed that Sheen's mental condition might not be healthy.

over 5 years ago

Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey, Marketing Consultant - Social Media and Media Relations at Human Factors International

celebrity scandal = media profit. OK next story.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Commentator

Plenty of brands could benefit from an association with Charlie Sheen. Any of a number of high-end detox kits and/or urine test maskers, various rehab centers like Promises, and in the end, AA and NA.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Ana Lucia Novak

my two cents: it goes to show you what people like - so Sheen accumulated millions of followers in a matter of days - whether it's a "low road" to go down on, social media is public, and Sheen found something new to be addicted to - afterall, aren't we all addicted to social media? Look at the numbers on Facebook 500 million users + , Twitter 200 million users +, Linkedin 75 mil +, Youtube etc...
I find this all very fascinating and entertaining!

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jill

This entire situation is close to becoming a tragedy unless he gets help. I did a psychic reading on him (I’m a Medium & Psychic) and things are not looking good for Sheen. Not going to fill the post with details but I blogged about it and made a two part video on youtube. For details on what I saw you can visit: jillfeyka.wordpress, or my youtube channel: creativeendeavor635. Let’s hope this man gets the help he needs. He has young children that need a sober, healthy father.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Emmie

I have been reading so much about Charlie Sheen recently and to be honest.
Even though he is disgraced at the moment, people are still interested in him because of the controversy etc so brands are bound to want him.. remember clicks mean cash.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Simon

I think it's amazing that Charlie now has over 2.5 million followers. The problem for me is are the tweets from Charlie or from someone in his close circle. For twitter to work long term it needs to be authentic especially when it comes to famous and sometimes the in-famous celbs in our life. As long as we're all #winning it should be fine....!

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Business tablet

Good opinions. I agree with him.

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Muhammad Rogers

Now, the Charlie Sheen who made 20 Minutes with the President. That sounded like a genuine person.

over 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.