Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bad Girls of Hollywood


Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan
and Nicole Richie

Christie Walsh
Comm 473, Fall 2008
Professor Nichols


America is obsessed with celebrities and celebrity news. There is an entire market for celeb news, with such media outlets as People, OK!, TMZ, E!, etc. Even regular news outlets like FOX and CNN have begun to follow stars personal lives. Today, it seems that talent and hard work are less concentrated on, and more attention is paid to the private lives of celebrities. This comes in handy for a few stars who might have more in the “drama” department than the “talent” one.
Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Lindsay Lohan are all considered “Bad Girls of Hollywood.” The media, tabloids, and the American public have followed their careers and personal lives. While each of them has had legal problems resulting in jail time and rehab, they continue to be seen in celebrity news, making a name for themselves, holding onto and growing their fame, and, of course, making money.
The purpose of this case study is to find the similarities between each of these stars behavior, and figure out what made them able to “bounce back” from their legal problems, by rebranding themselves. Seeing as each of these girls have had plenty of other “drama,” including sex scandals, homemade pornographic tapes, relationship dramas, pregnancies, family issues, etc, this case study will concentrate specifically on their legal problems and rehabilitation.

Paris HiltonParis Hilton, of the Hilton family, is a famous socialite, who has gained attention for acting, singing, modeling and other business ventures. Paris is known for her role on the television series “The Simple Life,” modeling, her own clothing line, a sex tape titled “One Night in Paris,” minor film roles (including “House of Wax,” 2005). She put out her first CD, self-entitled “Paris” in 2006. (
Paris’s Rap Sheet:· September 2006- Paris was arrested for driving under the influence with a 0.08% blood alcohol level, which is illegal in California. · November 206- License suspended.· January 2007 she pleaded “no contest to the alcohol-related reckless driving charge. Sentenced to 36 months' probation and fines of approximately$1,500.· January 15, 2007- caught driving with a suspended license. Acknowledged the offence.
· February 27, 2007- Paris pulled over driving 70 mph in a 35 mph zone, with a still suspended license. She also did not have her headlights on even though it was after dark. Prosecutors in the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney charged that those actions, along with the failure to enroll in a court-ordered alcohol education program, constituted a violation of the terms of her probation.
· May 4, 2007- sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. Initially, Hilton planned to appeal the sentence, and supported an online petition asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon. Opponents started a counter-petition supporting the sentence. Both petitions attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Hilton eventually switched lawyers and dropped her appeal.
· June 3, 2007- Paris attended the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. She entered the Century Regional Detention Facility two days later. With credit for good behavior, it was anticipated that Hilton would only serve 23 days of her 45-day sentence.
· June 7, 2007- Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca reassigned Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition. Baca commented on the release saying, "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice," contesting that under normal circumstances, Hilton would not have served any time in jail, and he added that "The special treatment, in a sense, appears to be because of her celebrity status ... She got more time in jail". (She later told Larry King her medical condition was claustrophobia, and not wanting to be alone.”
· Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear in court the following morning (June 8) as the sentencing statement had explicitly said she would serve time in jail with "No work furlough. No work release. No electronic monitoring." At the hearing he declined to be briefed by Hilton's attorney in private chambers on the nature of her condition and sent her back to jail to serve out her original 45-day sentence. Paris was moved to the medical wing of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles
· June 13- Removed from the medical wing.
· June 26, 2007- After serving 22 days, Paris was released. She announced she would visit Rwanda, but later moved he trip from November 2007 to “some time” in 2008.
· June 28, 2007- Two days after her release Paris was interviewed on Larry King. Spoke about the influenced prison minister Marty Angelo had on her and starting a “new beginning.” (

Lindsay Lohan
After getting her start as a child model, Lindsay Lohan began acting at age 10 in a soap opera, and at 11 starred in the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap.” Lindsay she gained fame staring in films including “Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday,” “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” “Herbie: Fully Loaded.” Lindsay began a singing career as well. Lohan is well known in the Hollywood party scene. (

Lindsay’s Rap Sheet:
· August 2004, October 2005, November 2006- Lohan had series of car accidents. In the final one, there was suspicion of intent on the side of the paperatizo to attack her car.
·2006- During the filming of Georgia Rule that was later made public,[80] James G. Robinson, CEO of the film's production company, Morgan Creek Productions, wrote:
“You and your representatives have told us that your various late arrivals and absences from the set have been the result of illness; today we were told it was 'heat exhaustion'. We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called 'exhaustion'.”
· January 18, 2007- Lohan checked herself in to the Wonderland Center rehabilitation facility. "I have made a proactive decision to take care of my personal health,” she stated.
· May 26, 2007, Lohan lost control of her car. Lindsay had cocaine in her car and it was further detected in her blood. She was charged with driving under the influence.
· May 28, 2008- entered a rehab for a 45-day treatment at the Promises Treatment Center.
· July 24, 2007- Lindsay failed a sobriety test after being caught drunkenly fighting with a recently fired assistant in a parking lot. Cocaine was found in her pocket. She was arrested with a felony charge of possession of cocaine, a misdemeanor for driving under the influence, and for driving with a suspended license.
· August 23, 2007- She pleaded guilty to cocaine use and driving under the influence. She was sentenced to one day in jail and then 10 days of community service. She was further ordered to pay fines and complete an alcohol education program, and 3 years probation. “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs,” Lohan said in a statement.
· In August 2007, Lohan began her rehab at Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah until October 2007. (

Nicole Camille Richie
Nicole is the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie. She is a known for partying, being friends with Paris Hilton, some acting and most notably her role in the reality television show The Simple Life. She now has a child with boyfriend Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. (

Nicole’s Rap Sheet:
· Richie herself has openly admitted that she smoked marijuana at the age of 13, and then progressed to cocaine a year later. At 19, she was injecting heroin (wikipedia)
· February 2003, Richie was arrested in Malibu, California. She was arrested and charged for possession heroin and driving without a license.
· December 11, 2006- Nicole was charged with driving under the influence. Eyewitnesses saw Nicole's car driving the wrong direction. She admitted to smoking marijuana and taking Vicodin before the incident.
· July 27, 2007- She was sentenced to four days in jail. After only 82 minutes of the sentence she was released from the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California on August 23, 2007. A sheriff's department spokesperson told People magazine that Richie "was released early due to overcrowding in the jail system. This is standard procedure for nonviolent offenders.” She then did an 18-month program for anti-drinking and driving. (

Celebrity Obsessed World:
An article in Associated Content covered the issue of American obsession with celebrities. “Our society is addicted to celebrities. There are thousands of citizens who can't wait to read about the personal and professional lives of stars like Beyonce, Madonna and the latest person on the radar. Publicity teams are set in place to help celebrities stay in the spotlight so that they can sell an album, movie or product.“ These stars need to stay in the spotlight to succeed, so a negative story about them is not necessarily bad, but they have to use the spotlight to eventually help their brand. (

Similar Cases:
Whitney Houston- Though never arrested, Whitney has also had problems with drug abuse and has gone to rehab. While she was a prominent star in the 80’s and 90’s, she later was accused of drug abuse with husband Bobby Brown. In an interview with Diane Sawyer Huston admitted to drug use but said, "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack." Her attitude and unprofessionalism cost her dearly, and her “Crack is wack” quote became a joke. Audiences were not convinced, even momentarily that she was clean or that she was remorseful for her actions. ''My business is sex, drugs, rock and roll... I partied a lot,” she said in a report to E! News at age 39. (,,396064,00.html) While “all news is good news” works for the other girls, it didn’t work for Houston, because there was never any redeeming factor. Unlike the other girls Houston failed to show her rehabilitation or charity work, which helped the other three to turn around their images in the media.

PLANNING: How the Bad Girls Maintain publicity and earnings
· All news is good news: With so many media outlets based primarily around celebrity news (TMZ, Access Hollywood, E!, People, etc) and even classic news outlets following celebrities and their every move, it is clear that these girls need to get their names out there. The fact is celebrities living quiet lives often get less press then others who are out in the nightlife, even those getting “bad press.” But that is how we have learned that no press is bad press. That is why even when it seems these girls aren’t working, they are still making money. No matter what they are actually doing, it has to be news worthy. And it is. So, each of these stars used their legal problems (because that’s what they had to use at the time) to capitalize and gain more fame.

“Jail bad? It’s just another way to get publicity” by Michael Ventre
· “However, it isn’t the day-to-day routine of confinement that is the attraction here for Paris Hilton, it’s the aftermath. When she finally finishes her stretch, she will have street cred, which is the one thing on Earth she can’t buy, although don’t think one of her minions hasn’t contacted Sotheby’s to inquire.”
· “Jail may turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to Paris Hilton.”

EXECUTION: How they executed a post-jail comeback.

· Focus on “rehabilitation”:
Each of these girls did a stint or two in rehab and jail, and used it to their benefit. Paris’s jail time was widely covered by all news outlets, as was Nicole’s and Lindsay’s. When ending rehab all the girls did interviews about how much they have changed.
On a Larry King interview Paris said, “it definitely -- it was a very traumatic experience, but I feel like God does make everything happen for a reason. And it gave me, you know, a time-out in life to really find out what's important and what I want to do, figuring out who I am. And I'm -- even though it was really hard, I took that time just to get to know myself.” (
Lindsay’s first interview after her third time in rehab was with OK! Magazine. She said to the magazine, "It was a sobering experience. It made me look at myself and all the people, places and things in my life in a different way.” She told the magazine she planned to avoid Hollywood and concentrate on her career and being clean instead. (
In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Nicole Richie and her boyfriend talked about how Nicole had changed since her arrest and pregnancy. "Besides being responsible for myself, I'm now responsible for someone else. And I have to set the right examples. I have to really be someone that I would want my child to look up to,” she said. (

· Charity:
Paris Hilton told E! News, "I'll be going (to Rwanda) in November, after I get back from filming my movie. There's so much need in that area, and I feel like if I go, it will bring more attention to what people can do to help." While her trip to Rwanda seems to be on permanent hold, Paris did go to South Africa with her boyfriend in March of 2008. After the trip she said, "I LOVE Africa in general, South Africa and West Africa. They are both great countries," she said, according to various reports.” While, there is no such country as West Africa, and her efforts may not be exactly well educated, she did do some volunteer work with children in South Africa. (
In November 2007, Richie and Joel Madden created The Richie Madden Children's Foundation. According to their website, the foundation supports programs that "provide immediate aid and seek out programs that are addressing the underlying causes of suffering and provide sustainable solutions. On her website Nicole wrote, “This past year, philanthropy has opened my eyes to so much need and so much beauty. I have also realized how easy it is to help, and how rewarding it feels to be able to make a positive difference in someone's life.” Her foundation says in the website that it is ‘currently raising money to build a playground for children living with their families in a homeless shelter. We’re pleased to announce the launch of ‘Text CHILD to 90999’, a new campaign to raise funds to help kids through a new kind of fundraising – with a simple text message. Each text message donates $5, billed to your phone bill. This is the first time a campaign is using popular culture mass media to raise funds with the new technology, so we’re excited to see how much we can raise.” (
Lohan has publicized her work with Hear the World, The One Campaign, Save the Children, and TRIAD. Her most publicized work is with Hear the World. According to their website, Hear the World “is an initiative by Phonak that aims to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world. The goal of the Hear the World Initiative is to educate the general public about the importance of hearing, the social and emotional impacts and the benefits of available solutions for those with hearing loss.
” (

· Paris Hilton earned approximately $2 million in 2003–2004, $6.5 million in 2004–2005, and $7 million in 2005–2006.” (Forbes). She now stars in her own show, “Paris Hilton’s: My New BFF.” Her new single “My BFF,” from her yet to be released album, premiered September 30th of this year and is the theme song for her show. (

· Forbes has Lindsay Lohan listed with over $6 million in earnings. Her leggings line “6126” was launched October of 2008. She is working on a new album called “Spirit in the Dark.” (Forbes)

· Nicole Richie earned 1 million for posing nude with her man in People Magazine. She also earned $2.5 million from a spokesperson contract Jimmy Choo and the novel "The Truth About Diamonds." Rumors have her in a TV development deal with Fox. She also is working on her own pop album. (Forbes).

While I don’t think any of these stars make exactly good role models for young people, it is clear that Hollywood, the media, and we the public have an obsession with hearing about other peoples failings and legal problems. We thirst to hear about their failures, and we look forward to watching them claw their way out from the hole they got themselves into. Often, there is less “news” to report on a successful star who does not get in trouble, like for instance Scarlet Johansson. That does not take away Scarlet's fame, but the truth is that the stars with the “bad” publicity are still getting the publicity, and often more of it!
In making their comebacks, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Nicole Richie all concentrated on their rehabilitation and their charity work. They have made themselves into a brand. In some ways their jail time (however brief it may have been) has given them a form of street cred. It also makes them relatable and real. They are not merely fashionable people who do whatever they want; they are real people who (have learned that they too) have to abide by the same laws as we normal people.
While Paris, Nicole, and Lindsay all had great publicists and maybe did some thinking on their own too in order to come out of legal problems with success, their move is still not advisable. Truly talented actresses who stay out of legal problems can succeed more in the long run, where as the up and down road of drug and alcohol abuse is a dangerous one to take (or drive).

Works Cited:,,396064,00.html

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Green Got Cool

As we push further into the new millennium, the concept of green living has gotten a makeover. Environmental issues are no longer isolated to special interest groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Adirondack Mountain Club, to name a few, but have rather become an issue staring every man, woman, and child straight in the face. This issue does not, per se, affect our generation, but more so, future generations. As green living no longer finds itself as an alternative lifestyle, marketers are capitalizing on an opportunity to tap into a new segment of the market: the eco-friendly consumer.

As green living has become more prevalent in the United States, it has not only become acceptable, but at times a fashion statement, especially among youth consumers. In this analysis, we will take a look at how three companies, Toyota, Honda and Whole Foods Markets, have positioned themselves as green initiators and cemented their place as eco-friendly companies. These three companies, along with many others, are at the forefront of noveau-green resurgence. In an effort to expand their market share and boost the bottom line, they were able to effectively bring green living back to life.


In 1997, Toyota began production of the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius. After success in Japan where it was sold exclusively, the Prius made its way to the U.S. in 2001. The original American Prius model ran on a 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder engine, along with a permanent magnet A/C electric motor with MSRP under $20,000.

In 2004 the Prius was completely redesigned into a slightly larger, sleeker and sexier automobile. As its popularity grows, many have found the Prius to be harder to come by with many potential buyers finding themselves on wait-lists to purchase the vehicle.


In 2005, Toyota undertook the challenge of finding Australia’s “Greenest” celebrity in order to leverage them as environmentally credible and generate positive publicity of the Prius.

Using National Tree Day as a launching pad, they were able to create media opportunities using celebrities and Toyota ambassadors including world renowned environmentalist David Suzuzki, to participate in a photo shoot demonstrating how driving a Prius for a week could reduce CO2 emissions as effectively as planting 21 trees.

Australian debutante and Miss Universe 2004, Jennifer Hawkins was commissioned to plant trees creating buzz leading to National Tree Day. Prius’ were also loaned to media personalities to secure substantial endorsement.

Toyota was able to position themselves as the vehicle of choice for environmentally conscious drivers through a feature on the eco-friendly show, The Great Outdoors on Australia’s Channel Seven.

Through their strategy, Toyota achieved coverage through many different outlets including radio, national and local TV as well as a number of placements in consumer publications with a positive image for Toyota.

Toyota has also reached out into the social marketing realm to address criticism from environmental advocacy groups claiming Toyota is “two-faced on fuel economy”. The company has made numerous online and offline efforts in support of their green initiatives. Toyota is in a position to balance their green products versus their not-so-eco-friendly products. However, any consumer interested in Toyota’s green initiatives can visit their Open Road blog to read “Being Green”.

Toyota has revamped their Web site to showcase their Hybrid Synergy Drive technology and have added a hybrid filter to their online showroom. In addition, they have initiated a community site for Toyota Hybrid owners enabling them to create a profile based on their reasons for purchase.

Through their initiatives, positioning themselves as a green leader, Toyota has been named one of the top ten “Greenest Brands” and as of 2007 has sold over one million Hybrid vehicles.


Although Honda Motor Company is relatively small compared to other Japanese car manufacturers, Honda is the largest engine maker in the world. Honda also had the first engine to pass the 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act. The Civic, Accord and Prelude were the only Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. up until the 1990s when Honda decided to expand their model lineup. In particular, the Honda Civic is the second-longest continually running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer.

Since its premiere, the Civic has undergone several generational changes, making it attractive to a younger, hipper customer, ranging in ages 18-34. To reach out to this audience, Honda launched the Honda Civic Live Tour, a six-city tour featuring live concerts by leading bands such as the Black-Eyed Peas, John Legend and 311 combined with a festival and test drives of the Civic.

This event was a first for Honda, allowing them to team with The Powell Group to leverage the car to “tuners”, predominately young car enthusiasts who customize their vehicles to increase performance, personalize appearance, and enhance the volume of their engines and audio equipment. This market segment was exactly what Honda was after to align the car as a hip, urban trend. They were also able to create successful radio partnerships with local stations to promote the tour.

The Honda Civic Live Tour generated a total of 6.4 million impressions with an estimated $250,000 in publicity value. Not only was Honda able to generate strong traffic into the showrooms, but they were able to reach out to their target audience, providing this hip and upcoming audience with the notion that Honda is the “it” car of our time. Their ability to leverage themselves as the cool car for this younger audience has ultimately led them to align their “cool” factor with their green cars as well.

The Civic Hybrid is the most economic and environmentally responsible gasoline-powered Civic ever. The 2006 Civic Hybrid was so well received by consumers, that it has won the 2006 World Car of the Year Award for greenest car.

Akin to Toyota, Honda is able to promote their green initiatives through interactive and educational online marketing. The site, offers consumers a visually appealing and informative site. Honda was also named one of the top ten “Greenest Brands”


Another leader in the eco-friendly marketplace is Whole Foods Market, based in Austin, TX. Whole Foods Market’s mission—Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet; reflects its care and concern for the environment. A key component of the Whole Foods mission is to be a leader in comprehensive environmental stewardship and the company has made an ongoing commitment to green power.

To many, Whole Foods has become a vested part of green living. Consumers say shopping at WFM has become a part of their lifestyle, as the company is noted for having high prices but historically, it has also been a leader in community outreach. In order to position itself as the leading natural food retailer and the go-to marketplace for the eco-friendly shoppers, Whole Foods Market focused on the “Whole Foods Experience” creating unique shopping environments catering specifically to each distinct season utilizing seasonal products and unique items within the stores. Outside the store, Whole Foods Market media outreach emphasized their community support and environmental stewardship practices as well as positioning the company as an industry leader in topical issues in terms of agriculture, food production and consumption.
To further cement their place as a hub of environmental friendliness, many Whole Foods Markets have begun holding seminars on green lifestyle, in and out of the kitchen including seminars on renewable wind energy. Whole Food’s has also publicized itself as a green leader through its Green Power standing. WFM is recognized by the EPA for running on 100% Green Power and has used this standing as leverage to differentiate from competitors.

Whole Foods is still making progress to maintain standing as the greenest brand. As of January 2008, Whole Foods eliminated all plastic shopping bags and now offer only 100% recyclable paper bags. WFM also offers stylish grocery sacks for a low cost.

A unique trait of Whole Foods Market’s CSR initiative is their community dedication. Whole Foods Market has consistently focused on supporting local agriculture, and community citizenship. Each year, WFM allocates a minimum of 5% of their profit into the local communities, generally dispersed throughout the year to a number of groups.

Ultimately, by keeping itself in the local media through community initiatives as well as creating store loyalty, Whole Foods Market has maintained itself as the top green brand in the U.S. and is a staple of green living.


The three companies presented above have done an exceptional job at keeping the youth market involved with green initiatives through the use of hip and “cool” tactics. This effort positioned the green lifestyle in a fashionable light, building a platform for future green initiatives. It has also diminished pre-existing notions toward environmental-friendly living. Each of these companies has made it a priority to show the exact impact of customers’ loyalty to the business in terms of green lifestyle. Whether reducing your emissions by purchasing a hybrid car or supporting green power through Whole Foods Green Power initiatives, consumers know their brand loyalty makes the difference.

These companies are exceptionally successful because they are not making sacrifices when it comes to the bottom line. In fact, they are the pioneers in green marketing. Their marketing efforts have proven to be successful from both a consumer standpoint as well as a business perspective. Honda was able to reach out to a young audience with their music tour by incorporating Honda’s green values with prominent celebrities and musicians. Toyota was able to accelerate the Hybrid from the drawing board to a reality. They were able to effectively and cost-efficiently partner with green campaigns such as National Tree Day to align themselves as a green company. Whole Foods was able to position themselves as the retailer of the green lifestyle by extensive community support and an ongoing commitment to green initiatives.

These companies have created a solid foundation for the future of green marketing. Now that marketing has taken this course, the green issue will always be in play. Consumers will start to question whether or not businesses are doing their part to practice environmental responsibility, whether at consumer level or at the executive level. This movement has created a mutually beneficial relationship for three distinct parties: the companies, the public and the environment. In the foreseeable future, there seems to be no end to the trend. Until environmental issues begin to resolve, campaigns like these will be commonplace amongst everyone else.

Public relations professionals agree that green lifestyle coming to the mainstream is not just a passing phenomenon. Monica Del Rosario, an account executive with Hill & Knowlton's New York office has worked extensively with Green Cross International, specifically with their global solar report card efforts. "Stories about sustainability have been getting picked up more frequently than ever". said Del Rosario. "Everybody wants to see where they stand in comparison with others. The bar is definitely in the process of being set as to the standard of what it means to be green."

Del Rosario also noted that living green has become sexier in the media. "You may have noticed this recently, but driving an Escalade is much less sexy now a days. Green is profitable. Leo DiCaprio drives a Prius and Brad Pitt is trying to rebuild New Orleans with all green materials." said Del Rosario. "Being green has caught on big time and this is proof that it is most definitely cool."