Need to reboost your career? Have a book, movie or television show to promote? If you're a celebrity, dropping a bombshell or even your clothes seems to be an increasingly popular way to go.
Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet shed their clothes for magazine covers out the same month as their latest films.
Paula Abdul, making the rounds of ABC's morning shows a month before the season premiere of "American Idol," dropped the bomb that the "Idol" producers had allowed a woman who had been stalking her for 17 years to try out because it would make good television.
Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who once campaigned for presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, trashed McCain on a conservative radio show ahead of his book, "Fighting for the American Dream."
It's all designed to get us talking and -- celebrities hope -- buying their books, seeing their films and tuning into their shows.
"Once you become a public figure, everything in your life is a business," Ian Drew, editor at large of Us Weekly, told ABCNews.com. "It's Superstar Inc. Thus, everything you do is timed towards how you can make money off of it. People that say otherwise to protect celebrities simply don't understand how the business works. Everything is done by choice and with careful planning, including supposed reactions. Like the old song, you've got to use what you've got if you want to get ahead."
These days, celebrities literally bare it all. Promoting her new film "Marley and Me," which opens Christmas Day, Aniston wears nothing but a man's tie on the December cover of GQ.
Winslet, who recently received two Golden Globe nominations for her latest films "The Reader" and "Revolutionary Road," can be seen on the December cover of Vanity Fair, her hair teased into a '60s style, wearing only a white overcoat and platform heels.
"We are seeing more because society is just more permissible," Drew said. "Twenty-five years ago, George Michael couldn't even sing 'I Want Your Sex' on the radio. Now anything goes. The bar has been lowered -- or raised -- depending on how you look at it. We've gotten looser, our morals are less restrained. Elizabeth Taylor would have been doing it back in the day if she could!"
"The stigma about nudity does not exist anymore," said longtime Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman. "You can find nude pictures of almost every male and female celebrity on the Internet, and most of them are real. Paris Hilton became famous not in spite of but because of a sex tape. Kim Kardashian became known for a tape. Younger people don't judge that issue."
"Sex sells and stars know it," Drew said. "And keeping up their profiles is how they get those roles. You gotta be hot or nobody wants to hire you."
But occasionally a scandal like the racy Miley Cyrus pictures in Vanity Fair serves as a reminder that some gray areas remain.
"My view of Miley Cyrus is that now the strategy to merchandise young girls is to prostitute them up," Eric Dezenhall, a Washington, D.C.-based crisis management expert, told ABCNews.com.