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Ahold appoints Unilever executive as HR chief

BY Alaric DeArment

ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Abbe Luersman has been appointed as chief human resources officer of Ahold, the Dutch supermarket-operating company said Thursday.

Ahold said that Luersman, who will report to CEO Dick Boer, will assume the new position on Nov. 1. Ahold’s U.S. division operates the Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa., and Giant Food of Landover, Md., supermarket banners, as well as the Peapod online grocery service.

"We are delighted to have such an international, business-minded HR expert joining our company," Boer said. "We can only reshape retail if we have the right talent in our company to execute this great ambition. Abbe’s background in HR programs supporting business transformation in both the United States and Europe is not only impressive, but also highly valuable for Ahold."

A U.S. national, Luersman started her career at Whirlpool Corp. in 1991 and, 16 years later, began working for Unilever, most recently as SVP human resources for the company’s Europe division.


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Fred’s announces quarterly cash dividend

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Wednesday announced that its board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share. 

The dividend is payable on Sept. 16, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 2, 2013.

Fred’s operates 697 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred’s stores, in the southeastern United States.


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NARB: ‘Zicam, the Pre-Cold Medicine’ is not interpreted by the consumer as a prevention claim

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Review Board on Wednesday determined that certain claims made by Matrixx Initiatives for its Zicam Cold Remedy products would not reasonably be understood to mean that use of the products prevents colds.

ProPhase Labs initially challenged several advertising claims for Zicam before the National Advertising Division, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. NAD recommended Matrixx discontinue certain claims, which the company agreed to do.

NAD found, however, that two claims – “The Pre-Cold Medicine” and “Go from Pre-Cold to No Cold Faster” – would not reasonably be understood by consumers to mean that Zicam Cold Remedy products prevent consumers from getting a cold. 

ProPhase appealed NAD’s finding to the NARB. Following its review, the panel found that the challenged references, as used in the context of the challenged advertising, did not reasonably convey a message that Zicam is effective in preventing colds or should be used by consumers for that purpose.

Matrixx, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “appreciated the panel’s thoughtful review of the appeal of the NAD’s findings regarding Matrixx’s use of ‘Pre-Cold’ and ‘the Pre-Cold Medicine’ in its advertising.”

NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. 

 

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