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Charlie Sheen gets on Twitter to reach fans

Charlie Sheen, whose show 'Two and a Half Men' was pulled for the season, amassed more than 910,000 followers on Twitter, a social media website, a day after starting up an account.

March 02, 2011|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

Charlie Sheen is currently out of work on television, but he may have found a new gig as a celebrity product endorser on Twitter.

Just a day after starting up an account, Sheen amassed more than 910,000 followers on Twitter, a social media website where users post messages of 140 characters or less, putting his among the fastest-growing user accounts the website has seen.

With such a huge following, Sheen could make money from Twitter, said Arnie Gullov-Singh, the chief executive of Ad.ly — a Beverly Hills firm that writes messages on Twitter or Facebook for celebrities who, for a fee, endorse products or brands.

"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," Gullov-Singh said. "I've never seen growth like this before. But, then again, 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."

The reason Sheen has been getting so much media coverage is because "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."

This week, Sheen has spoken with nearly every major media outlet in the U.S. in what he has said is an attempt to tell his side of the story and, in part, to prove his sobriety.

But, after many critics called the interviews a public meltdown, Sheen looked to Twitter on Tuesday to reach his fans directly. And to get started on the website, a friend of Sheen's called Ad.ly, Gullov-Singh said.

"Our guys sat down with Charlie for a couple hours and gave him the 101 on how to do it," he said. Ad.ly called Twitter and got Sheen the @CharlieSheen user name, which had been used by an imposter.

Sheen's first message on Twitter said, "Winning..! Choose your Vice..." and linked to a photo of Sheen, holding a bottle of chocolate milk, and porn star Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice fruit smoothie.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sheen sent out a message that said, "Still Winning..! Pong!" and showed the actor pointing his fingers at a wall-mounted TV with the DirecTV logo on it.

Neither Olson nor Sheen were paid for the photos by Ad.ly, Naked Juice or DirecTV, and Sheen didn't pay anyone for the help getting started on Twitter, Gullov-Singh said.

Everything from Sheen, so far, has been his own doing, he 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.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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