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Marketing: Making Denise Richer

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Notoriety almost always translates into record sales -- think Columbine and Marilyn Manson -- even for the Fifth Avenue set. The Pardongate controversy has been boosting sales of "Livin' for Love," the single Denise Rich co-wrote for Natalie Cole that was released last fall. "In late January, sales went up by about 900 units per week," says a spokesperson for SoundScan, which monitors record sales. HMV stores in Manhattan even affixed large white stickers reading WRITTEN BY DENISE RICH to the cover of the Cole CD single. Rich doesn't seem to mind: "I think the popularity of the song is amazing," gushed her spokesperson, "and it's even more amazing that a record store would put a songwriter's name up there with the artist." Of the sales spike, Duane Free, manager of the HMV on 46th Street and Fifth Avenue, says, "Things like this happen when there are promotional tie-ins with television programs." So, would Pardongate be the tie-in here? "Uh, yes."


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