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WE Backs 'McLeod’s Daughters’ With N.Y. Bachelor Roundup

3/20/2005 7:00 PM Eastern

New Yorkers who walk through Manhattan’s Union Square this Tuesday will see attractive young women on horseback lassoing male models dressed as businessmen.

The public-relations stunt is part of the marketing blitz behind the second-season premiere of McLeod’s Daughters on WE: Women’s Entertainment.

McLeod’s is an Australian import centering on sister cattle ranchers and their romantic conquests. Season two of the series is set to debut March 19 at 10 p.m.

WE executives are banking heavily on McLeod’s Daughters, whose airings (at 11 p.m. on Saturdays) averaged an 0.25 rating and 137,000 households.

The network plans to make McLeod’s the focus of its marketing campaigns through the first half of the year. It will change gears this summer to hype the second season of Bridezilla, said WE senior vice president of marketing Janice Moore.

McLeod’s Daughters star Lisa Chappell is scheduled to participate in the lassoing stunt, along with eight professional rodeo cowgirls and “15 eligible New York bachelors who will be running and available for roping … if you can catch them,” according to WE.

The joke behind the stunt, according to Moore: Women are so inspired by what they see on the program that they begin lassoing men themselves.

WE will tout McLeod’s with prints ads featuring hunky actors from the program in US Weekly, People, TV Guide, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. The network will also run spots on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil, in addition to national spot cable ads, radio commercials in the top 15 markets and online banner ads on Web sites for Yahoo!, E! Entertainment Television, Soap Central and Soap City.

WE also cut a deal with People magazine to run a national sweepstakes for McLeod’s Daughters. The grand prize winner gets two round-trip tickets to Sydney, three nights near the set of the program in Adelaide and other perks. Viewers can enter the sweepstakes through People’s Web site until May 1.

The McLeod’s Daughters campaign is the first big marketing campaign for Moore, who took over WE’s marketing department about six months ago.

Ad agency Brooklyn Brothers designed the creative materials for McLeod’s Daughters. Moore said WE doesn’t have an agency of record.

September