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American Greetings sells Care Bears and Shortcake

BY Doug Desjardins

CLEVELAND American Greetings has agreed to sell its Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake properties to Cookie Jar Entertainment in a $195 million deal that will also include AG’s Sushi Pack property. As part of the deal, American Greetings is receiving a 10-year, inbound licensing agreement on social expression products for all three properties.

“Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears have been synonymous with American Greetings for more than 25 years,” said Josef Mandelbaum, chief executive officer of American Greetings’ Intellectual Property Group. “We are confident that Cookie Jar will be able to take these two properties to new heights.”

Since being re-introduced in 2002, Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears have generated more than $5 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise. They’ll be added to Cookie Jar’s stable of children’s properties that include Caillou and The Doodlebops.

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Safeway raises $13.2 million for prostate cancer research

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Prostate cancer research got an infusion Tuesday as Safeway announced that it had raised $13.2 million in a June fundraiser.

The supermarket chain has raised $42 million for prostate cancer research since 2000 through Safeway stores, as well as banners such as Vons, Carrs, Randalls and Genuardi’s. Safeway conducts the campaigns in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Safeway had sales of $42.3 billion last year in the 1,740 stores it operates in the United States and Canada.

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P&G launches new campaign for Swiffer line

BY Doug Desjardins

Proctor & Gamble is rolling out a new program that offers money-back guarantees and discounts on Swiffer cleaning products.

The marketing effort kicked off July 22 with ads and TV commercials using the tagline, ‘Cleans Better than a Mop and Bucket or Your Money Back.’ The ads also direct consumers to the Swiffer Web-site, where they can get a $5 discount on purchases.

The new campaign is seen as a way to boost sales of Swiffer products in a slow economy and instill consumer confidence in the household cleaning line.

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