Harlequin joins Women.com on the Web

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Romance publisher Harlequin joined Women.com Networks in a co-branding deal to expand both brands. Harlequin's parent, Toronto-based Torstar Corp., is buying a yet-to-be-determined stake in Women.com, San Mateo, Calif., which will make Harlequin and its line of romance titles one of the channels on Women.com.

"This broadens the brand we think of as Women.com," said Women.com Chairwoman-CEO, Marleen McDaniel. "Romance is a huge category for women. We think the combination is going to be extremely powerful."

Women.com will make Harlequin part of its network before the end of the year. Details were being worked out over how Harlequin's existing Web site (www.romance.net), and its content will be part of the new Internet presence. Initial promotion will be by way of Harlequin's 160 million romance novels sold worldwide each year, which will carry the site's Web address.

Traditional advertising is a possibility for the Women.com-Harlequin effort but "we haven't determined what our media plan will be yet," said Ms. McDaniel.

Citron Haligman Bedecarre Euro RSCG, San Francisco, developed Women.com's current TV campaign, running in spot U.S. markets.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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