anallawalla - 2:46 am on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
Fully second ogletree there. Worked for two people I know where the top result was a newspaper article and not optimised as such but ranked owing to the site's reputation. Neither had a personal website and their business sites didn't mention their names prominently. They built a personal site, a blog, and various SM profiles, which did the trick.
In addition, links were given to innocent third-party sites featuring namesakes to help them rise above the offending URL.