Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

The Rise of Pets as Celebrities; Doug Has a Following, a Book Deal and Merchandise - Just Because He's Cute

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

The Rise of Pets as Celebrities; Doug Has a Following, a Book Deal and Merchandise - Just Because He's Cute

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately michelle.gately@capnews.com.au

HE HAS millions of social media followers, a global following and celebrities clamouring to meet him. His only talent? Being utterly adorable.

Doug the Pug is part of a growing social media trend where pets with personality plus are now celebrities in their own right. He's about to make his print debut with Doug the Pug: King of the Internet.

Owner and manager Leslie Mosier said a global following, book deal and merchandise were the last thing on her mind when she started posting pictures of Doug on her own Instagram. A pug named Doug had always been a dream for Leslie, who finally adopted her pug puppy in college. Doug's social media stardom started as a hobby for Leslie, who made several different accounts before finding the perfect channel.

After eventually attracting national media attention from the likes of TIME, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Good Morning America, Leslie took a massive step and quit her full-time PR job to manage Doug. "I was scared, but it felt like a necessary leap that I needed to take, and I'm so happy that I made that decision," she said.

Doug is just one of dozens of pets who have become global social media stars, from Grumpy Cat's iconic angry stare to Marnie the Dog's lolling tongue.

But finding popularity online is about more than just amassing likes. It's also big business for those who embrace their internet fame. Boo, a pomeranian dubbed the "cutest dog in the world" by Khloe Kardashian, has more than 17 million Facebook fans, a gig with Virgin America and a line of merchandise.

French bulldog Manny, with more than one million Instagram followers, has used his fame for charity, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through merchandise sales.

Pictures are Doug's selling point and Leslie said getting the perfect shot was a mixture of planning and spontaneity. …

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