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Colgate-Palmolive CFO retires

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Stephen Patrick late Friday announced his retirement as CFO of Colgate-Palmolive, effective Jan. 1.

Patrick, who has been working with the company since 1982 and has been CFO for 14 years, will be succeeded by 33-year Colgate veteran Dennis Hickey, VP and corporate controller. Patrick will assume the role of vice chairman until March 2011.

"Colgate has greatly benefited from Steve’s outstanding financial leadership," Colgate chairman and CEO Ian Cook said. "His strategic insights, keen financial understanding and vast Colgate knowledge have helped us advance our key financial performance measures to world class levels. We look forward to Dennis’ financial leadership as CFO, utilizing his 33 years of Colgate experience and his proven capabilities as a financial leader."

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Brand awareness resonates among young people

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Take a quick glance at the top 10 list, and not knowing that these are the brands resonating with today’s children/young adults, you might mistake this for a list of the top 10 advertising campaigns. Or the top 10 social media campaigns. Or the top 10 Super Bowl commercials. Or the top 10 things you’ll most likely find in your teen’s room.

(THE NEWS: Harris Interactive: M&M first in brand equity among youth. For the full story, click here)

The bottom line, tomorrow’s shoppers already are becoming familiar with today’s brands in ways that yesterday’s marketers could hardly ever have dreamed about — interactively online on individual branded Web pages or through such sites as YouTube (type “Doritos Super Bowl commercial” into the search engine and you’ll get some 4,500 hits. Google “Doritos Super Bowl commercial” and you’ll get 7,000).

On Facebook, for example, half of the brands listed in the top 10 have well more than 1 million fans on at least one of their fan pages (and many of them have multiple fan pages, some perhaps unofficial). There are some 1.4 million Facebook aficionados who have taken the time to “like” Doritos. As many as 2.2 million are fans of Google, 3.3 million of Target, 3.5 million of Subway and a whopping 6.6 million of Disney Pixar.

If you were to use the number of Facebook fans who “liked” an iconic brand to gauge any kind of “hipness” factor, then Walmart isn’t too far behind with 2.2 million fans on one page. And Walgreens is fast approaching that 1 million watermark with more than 700,000 fans to date.

And judging from the amount of sweets on these top 10 lists, there won’t be too many tomorrows before today’s young adults begin “friending” their local pharmacists and “liking” their local pharmacies.

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Index examines consumers’ feelings toward in-store, online shopping

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — An annual holiday shopping index found that an overwhelming majority of Americans said that while online shopping for holiday gifts is easier, brick-and-mortar stores do a better job of putting them in the holiday spirit.

Among 1,072 Americans surveyed between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, StrategyOne said that it found that while 74% of Americans preferred online shopping over shopping in stores — and 54% found that shopping online is the best way to ensure their spending doesn’t exceed their holiday gift budget — 87% of respondents noted that brick-and-mortar stores are more successful in putting shoppers in a jolly mood.

StrategyOne’s annual holiday shopping index also found that Americans were divided over where to find the best deals: 52% said they found the best deals online, while 48% said they could find the best deals in retail stores.

“Online retailing has quickly and increasingly become a crucial segment of the holiday shopping season, which can be seen in the growing popularity of ‘Cyber Monday’ as well as the significant Thanksgiving Day online spending,” said Bradley Honan, SVP at StrategyOne. “But clearly, there are still aspects of the retail experience, like the holiday spirit, that can’t be matched online.”

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