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30 Watt introduces Connect-A-Cord PrankPack

BY Rebecca Haughey

MINNEAPOLIS – The pranksters at 30 Watt have introduced a new way to fool family and friends this holiday season, with a fake new product that supposedly solves the issue of hard-to-reach electrical devices — Connect-A-Cord, 50 one-foot sections of cord — the company announced on Monday.

With 50 separate cords, Connect-A-Cord is a new solution to tangled cords, the product’s box claims. The product’s packaging also boasts that it comes with an optional contractor case for tangle-free storage.

"Connecting 50 one-foot cords to reach an electrical outlet doesn’t sound like an ideal extension cord, but it sounds like a great prank gift box," said Arik Nordby, creative director at 30 Watt. "The product is fake, but the box looks like the real deal."

Placing a real gift inside a PranckPack, like the box for Connect-A-Cord, can make gift-giving more eventful. As the recipient opens up the Prank Pack, they will discover the bright yellow flaps inside that read, "Prank You!"

"In addition to the multiple styles to currently choose from, we hope consumers will be eager to find out what new PrankPacks will be added to the line every year, and enthusiastically select the vessels for their gift delivery," Nordby said.

The Connect-A-Cord PrankPack is currently available at PrankPack.com for $8.00.

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Ballantyne Brands advances share of electronic cigarette market

BY Rebecca Haughey

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ballantyne Brands, an electronic cigarette provider, on Monday announced the introduction of a new premium brand, NEO. The company also announced that it has acquired the Mistic brand of electronic cigarettes for an undisclosed amount, and has secured an investment partner to support its business for the long term.

"With both the launch of NEO and purchase of Mistic, we are now poised to capture a significant share of the electronic cigarette market over the next six months and beyond," said John Wiesehan, Jr., Ballantyne Brands CEO. "Additionally, with the strong support from our capital partners, there is no limit to how much growth we can achieve."

The acquisition of Mistic was critical to Ballantyne Brands’ goal of becoming a top electronic provider in the marketplace, providing the company with a brand that currently has both equity in the marketplace and a strong consumer base. The company has the full support of its suppliers, and will be able to leverage it production capacity in the future.

Electronic cigarettes are alternatives for traditional tabacco; NEO and Mistic electronic cigarettes — often called "e-cigs" — are available in both traditional tobacco and menthol flavors.

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Target, Walmart, McKesson named among Businessweek’s ranking of civic-minded companies

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Target, Walmart and McKesson were each recognized Friday as one of America’s more community-minded companies as part of the The Civic 50 — the first scientific evaluation to rank the companies that best use their time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life where they do business. 

The survey was conducted by the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light, and was published in the Nov. 9 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

“McKesson is in the business of better health, so our citizenship efforts are simply a part of our daily work,” stated Carrie Varoquiers, VP corporate citizenship. “Whether it is through the daily delivery of life-saving medications, improved medication safety in the emergency room, Comfort Kits delivered to cancer patients through our Giving Comfort charity, or our all-employee volunteer week, McKesson is proof that companies really can do well by doing good.”

“The results of The Civic 50 show that what is good for business can also be good for the community,” said Michael Weiser, chairman of NCoC. “Rather than passively write checks to charities or philanthropies, the top corporations are actively aligning their resources and professional skills with the needs of community partners. The Civic 50 reveals which companies are truly innovative, and we are hopeful that these examples will inspire other companies to make a difference in communities.”

Companies were evaluated on several elements, including leadership, measurement and strategy, design, employee civic health, community partnerships, cause alignment and transparency. 

To see the full rankings, click here.

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