Why there's gold in them thar cells

Why there's gold in them thar cells, by Carmel Egan - 6th May 2007
(Credit: The Age)

Paris Hilton will earn yet another fortune selling diaries and images of her life behind bars, according to leading publicists.

"She will probably make more money from it than Jeffrey Archer," said marketing guru Max Markson. "But she is very silly. She was warned. She was on a suspended sentence. She deserves to get 45 days."

Hilton's sentence for drunk driving is unlikely to adversely affect sales of Bondi Blonde, the beer she was hired to promote by its maker's part-owner, John Singleton, during a five-day visit to Sydney in January.

But she could use her marketing genius and jail sentence for a good cause, according to Greg Tingle, chief executive of Mediaman. "The opportunity certainly exists for Paris to turn this to a positive because of her strong social influence on youth globally," Tingle said.

"Paris and her close advisers should carefully consider what tactic to take with this. It's a golden opportunity to emphasise the dangers of alcohol abuse."

Since her first media appearance at the opening of a Las Vegas casino in 1999, Hilton has out ditzied Marilyn, built a business like Madonna and will soon have the ex-con marketability of Martha Stewart.

She has been so successful at turning a negative to a positive that she has created a new category of celebrity; the sleazebrity.

Who else could turn a humiliating sex video released by a toady former boyfriend into a global launch pad?

Who but Paris could profit from one million American parents signing a petition to ban a TV advertisement in which she slid across a soapy Bentley to eat a hamburger?

In his ebook Paris Hilton is a Fool, author W. Frederick Zimmerman writes that while the socialite/model/TV star is a fool, she is nobody's idiot. "The evidence seems to support the argument that, although she is no intellectual, she is a pretty shrewd businesswoman," Zimmerman writes.

"She is a risk taker who avoided the easy path of relying on a family fortune and struck out on her own to create an innovative personal career."

But life behind bars will be anything but the simple life for the multi-millionaire hotel heiress.


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