Why Advertisers Want Charlie Sheen As Their Spokesman — And Why Young Men Still Like Him

Over at The Daily Beast, Maria Elena Fernandez has written a piece that explains both why Charlie Sheen continue to employed, and in two paragraphs, everything you need to know about the utter venality of advertising:

In turn, Sheen is more well-known and more polarizing than ever, according to his Q score. Immensely popular at the height of his run on the high-rated Two and a Half Men, Sheen is now familiar to 87 percent of Americans six years of age and older, a seven percent increase in his status prior to his Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour. But even as he’s become more of a household name, the number of people who dislike him also went up, increasing his negative score from 31 to 47 in just one year. The average celebrity registers a negative score of 26, Schafer said. Sheen, however, remains very popular among 18-to-34-year-old men, who happen to be the toughest demographic to reach in media and marketing.

“It looks like from everything that transpired, it was his female appeal that got hit the hardest,” Schafer said. “He’s a complete turn-off to women right now, whereas, back in the day, at the height of Two and a Half Men, he was way above average with female consumers. He’s lost most of his consumer strength with women of all ages and men 35 and older. But young males, 18 to 34, were relatively unaffected by all of his ranting and raving. They actually like him as much as they did before, so if you’re a marketing person and you’re seeing that you have someone that can really attract that hard-to-find consumer group, then maybe Charlie’s a good approach because he’s going to create both awareness and emotion.”

That statistic about how Sheen’s latest antics changes the perception of him is also pretty telling, too. Women, unshockingly, are unlikely to resonate with an addict with a record of violence against women. Older men get it, too. But younger men (and not all of them, of course) apparently still have tiger blood in their eyes. And the ability to reach them is one way of determining the financial value of a bad reputation. But I also feel like that divergence is a symptom of the real clashes we’ve seen over culture and sexism in the past few months. In some cases, men and women are just not seeing the same things.