David Hauslaib: I mean her celebrity comes down to she’s famous for being famous. And that’s a silly notion. I also think it’s representative of the fact that in a sense we’ve exhausted the number of people that we can talk about on a daily or weekly basis. And I think she caught the wave at the perfect time – in that as technology was blossoming, and blogs, and mobile phones, and social networking, in this “always on” culture of consumption, she was right there for the picking. And as soon as we realized, “You know what? Julia Roberts isn’t going to make for a great item 12 times a day. There needs to be other people to talk about,” and in she steps – very willing to pose for cameras; very willing to make a good story, whether it’s dancing on a banquette or going to prison. She very authentically . . . which is a term I won’t use often with Paris . . . but very authentically represents that culture change combined with the technology.
Question: Is she a model for how to create a media phenomemon?
David Hauslaib: Honestly the idea of being the next Paris Hilton I think is an uphill battle, because we’ve seen some of her friends trying to do this . . . Kim Kardashian, who is really just a reality nobody. But people have tried to copy that model. And it includes many things. Sex tapes? Great. Drunk driving? Perfect. Partying in LA? You know it’s all part of the agenda. But in that instance, like I said, I think she caught the wave just as it was about to break. And I think everybody after that, to the Brooke Hogans of the world, have tried and failed. I don’t . . . I don’t think it’s a perfect science. There is no formula to this. She was a pretty, wealthy girl who liked to take her clothes off, and we ate that up. Do we want a repeat of that? I think the . . . You know I think consumers have said no.
Question: Is anyone poised to be the next Paris Hilton?
David Hauslaib: You know I think the actress Hayden – I’m gonna bungle her last name – Panettiere on Heroes on NBC is headed in that direction, which is a bad thing. You know I think she came onto the scene as a very cute, innocent girl and is quickly taking the Jamie Lynn Spears route of . . . You know not quite there yet, but probably dating the “wrong people”. And you know there are no video tapes of her snorting coke popping up yet, but it seems to be she might be headed down that route; which could, I think, be detrimental to her career because she’s been taken very seriously as an actress in her demographic. And there are roles for her out there, but from my perspective she’s on the beginning of a downhill slide.
Recorded on: Jan 23 2008