Goodby Guys Seek Arranged Marriage Online

By Published on .

Two San Francisco admen are about to undertake what may be the biggest sales jobs of their lives.

Zach Canfield, a creative recruiter, and Tanner Shea, a designer, have hatched a plan to marry themselves off to women they have never met via an online reality show -- and make a bundle of money in the process. Both ad men, who work for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, will go live with later this month. Each has a video about himself, explaning what would make them an ideal spouse.

Canfield presents himself as a guy who wants to make the most of his life since his father died unexpectedly. And Shea? Oh, he has what he sees an added selling point: He's gay and would be far more fun to live with than someone who watches baseball. He's always dreamed of getting married to the girl of his dreams. "But then life happens and – Poof! – you're a queerball." But he's not going to let that stop him.

As part of the online program, single women will be asked to submit videos pitching themselves as a prospective wife for one or the other men. Submissions must come from the individual herself, so there's no attempts by relatives or friends to marry off a spinster sister or aunt.

Now, here's the money-making part. The site will have some regular online ads, but no sponsors. But the pair is thinking beyond traditional payment forms to make dough. Online yentas wanting to make a match will be asked to pay $2 for a vote on the brides to be. When 500,000 votes are submitted, or the two prospective husbands collect a total of $1 million, the women with the most votes will be married. Officially. In a ceremony. It's not clear whether Rich Silverstein or Jeff Goodby would do the honors, although Mr. Goodby said he thought someone from Thailand or India might win. (The husbands say only U.S. citizens will be considered.)

Still, just like marriages arranged in some cultures, the Goodby employees won't meet the women in person until the time of the wedding, they said.

Canfield has had some experience with this kind of stunt: last year, he went online and raised $10,000 to take British rapper Lady Sovereign on a date on a yacht. It was great for a one night stand, but trying to come up with $1 million is another thing. Mr. Canfield believes the $1 million won't go far: About half will get used for taxes, the brides each will get $100,000, and there are expenses such as enabling the web site.

Canfield said he has never been married, so he can't comment on how long his marriage will last. He's been consulting with lawyers about prenuptial agreements but is "not super concerned about contracts."
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