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03/04/2008 - par Mark Tungate

Yesterday I was chatting with an American friend of mine about Ashley Dupré, the upmarket call girl at the centre of a sex scandal involving former New York governor Eliot Spritzer. As some of you may know, Spritzer was forced to quit after it emerged that he had been spending taxpayers' money on assignations with the attractive brunette. Splashed over the cover of the newspapers and attracting millions of visits to her MySpace site, Ashley Dupré rapidly became one of the most high-profile women in America.

Our conversation revolved around the ways Dupré might be able to get rich out of the situation. She's already been offered thousands of dollars to pose nude for magazines ; and a vodka brand called Georgi has approached her for a bus-side advertising campaign. Do the book and the movie come next ? But my friend - who works in the media - believes Dupré may have « missed her window » if she wants to become a star. He blames the internet, which enables you to behave like a famous person even when you're nobody. When the scandal broke, there were already pictures of this young woman all over the web, from her MySpace page to her brief appearances in rap videos. By the time they'd finished surfing, people felt that they already knew enough about her.

It seems that when it comes to personal branding, taking the approach of a luxury brand may be the best bet. Instead of signing up for every social networking site available, gain mystique by your rarity.

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