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AOL launches web `sweeps` contest aimed at women

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MUMBAI: AOL is launching a nationwide search for women who play multiple roles in their professional and personal lives --a segment the company has dubbed "CEOs", or "Chief Everything Officers".

The search is patterned after TV sweeps, with the goal of attracting more eyeballs and luring sponsors. The company says that through research conducted with Roper Public Affairs, the "CEO" title resonated with women who are juggling careers, families and personal lives.

The search for 'women who can do it all' is being sponsored by Dove, said media reports. Said AOL network programing chief Tina Sharkey, "We're acting like a TV network. This is sweeps on AOL."

The new channel, AOL.com/CEO, collects tips, stories and relevant editorial from AOL's own Coaches and Money & Finance sections, as well as from the Time Inc. titles Real Simple, Health and All You. Also, the site will include several social networking elements, including message boards and blogs on various lifestyle topics.

To promote the new channel, AOL has initiated a contest aimed at discovering real-life CEOs by inviting users to nominate candidates. Five winners will be selected to attend a luncheon in New York City on 17 May, when they with also receive a $1,000 shopping spree and their choice of several prizes values at $10,000 each.

The star of 'Desperate Housewives' and real-life mom Felicity Huffman is the spokeswoman for the promotion and is being featured prominently on the new site. Huffman will meet with the contest winners in New York in May, the report said.

Starting this week, Dove will be promoting the "webisodes" in TV, print and online ads. The rules, along with a series of video vignettes starring Huffman, can be viewed on the web site.

In January, the company had co-launched a similar content channel with Good Morning America (GMA) titled America Takes It Off, which featured content designed to help women shed post-holiday pounds. That section generated 22 million page views in January, with the GMA promotion yielding close to 130,000 registrants who then pledged to lose 4.5 million pounds, according to AOL.

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