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WE Sets 'Dream' Affiliate Campaign

WE: Women's Entertainment is allowing viewers to dream as part of its biggest affiliate campaign to date.

The service has lined up 350 affiliates for its "Dream It, Do It" marketing initiative tied to "National Women's History Month" (March) and Johnson & Johnson, the programmer's sole sponsor until springtime.

The idea behind the initiative is to encourage women "to make history in their own lives," said WE executive vice president and general manager Martin von Ruden.

"Dream It, Do It" includes a sweepstakes with a grand prize of $25,000 to help the winning woman pursue her dream. Von Ruden noted that the sweepstakes materials placed no guidelines or restrictions on the entrants' dreams.

Von Ruden called this effort the network's "most successful to date" in terms of participation, which has jumped 69 percent from 110 systems a year ago. At that time, Scholastic Inc. ran an in-school education project, which it will do again this year.

He estimated that the affiliates involved, including MSOs such as Charter Communications Corp. (the largest participant), AT&T Broadband, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable, reach a total of 15 million subscribers. Von Ruden declined to approximate the value of the promotional dollars and on-air time behind this initiative.

Viewers can enter the contest by forms that will be found at point-of-sale displays for J&J's Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals Inc. brand products at 1,500 participating Safeway supermarkets or WE's Web site,
throughout February.

Von Ruden said the supermarket chain estimates its traffic at 100,000 people daily.

The initiative's programming component is comprised of a series of documentaries and specials that will be presented under the umbrella title "Winning Beginnings." The programming block, hosted by actress Diane Lane, will run on Sunday nights throughout March and is sponsored by McNeil Nutritionals' Viactiv and McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals' Motrin.

Each week will feature a different theme: "Women in Action;" "Women in Washington;" "Women in Hollywood;" and "Women in Fashion." The final Sunday, March 31, is dubbed "Women in Retrospect," and will feature an hour-long documentary,
When I Was a Girl, hosted by actress Stockard Channing and produced by Linda Ellerbee.