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Etch A Sketch responds to political comment with new campaign

BY Allison Cerra

BRYAN, Ohio — After being thrust into the political arena, Ohio Art has launched a series of ads designed to maintain the political neutrality of its classic drawing toy.

Ohio Art announced that its advertising agency, Team Detroit, has launched three ads for the company’s Etch A Sketch product. The campaign followed comments made by a political aide of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said, "you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

The campaign, which is supported by a revamped "Shake It Up, America" website, launched on Facebook and Twitter along with a series of clever posts and tweets. The ads feature fun visuals and catchy slogans such as "Etch A Sketch is a lot like politics, there’s a lot of gray area," "Politically we lean right down the middle, which way did you lean?" and "We have a left knob and a right knob for each political party (But remember, when both work together, we can do loop de loops)."

"With Etch A Sketch shaking up the political debate, it was our desire to develop a campaign that encourages Americans to get involved in the process and vote," Ohio Art SVP marketing and product development Martin Killgallon said. "We feel these ads are fun and engaging and will continue to keep people interested throughout the remaining presidential campaign."

Added Team Detroit SVP group account director David Maas, "Etch A Sketch doesn’t take political sides. We believe that when the left hand and the right hand work together, magic happens and these ads were developed to convey that message."

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Dollar General celebrates 10,000th store opening

BY Allison Cerra

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — One of Dollar General’s first stores in California also has the distinction of being the retailer’s 10,000th store, the company said.

Dollar General announced Friday that its landmark store, located in Merced, Calif., has given the retailer a coast-to-coast presence for the first time in the company’s history.

"Opening the doors of our 10,000th store is a meaningful day for all of us at Dollar General, and we are excited to celebrate the occasion in California," Dollar General chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said. "This milestone reiterates our commitment to bringing unmatched convenience and value to customers across the nation."

Dollar General now operates stores in 39 states.

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CVS Caremark announces PBM succession plan

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark outlined succession plans for its pharmacy benefit management business as EVP and COO Jon Roberts will assume the role of president of the PBM business, effective Sept. 1.

During the company’s analyst meeting in December 2011, Per Lofberg, PBM president, announced his intention to extend his employment agreement with CVS Caremark through December 2013, as previously reported by Drug Store News. On Friday, the company announced that Roberts would assume the role of president of the PBM business in September. He will continue to report to Lofberg. Lofberg will continue to report to Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Caremark.

In his new role as president of Caremark Pharmacy Services, Roberts will have day-to-day oversight for the PBM business including sales and account management and operations. Effective Sept. 1, 2012, Lofberg will focus on driving PBM strategy, new business development and client relationship management and retention by serving as the chairman of the PBM.

Roberts, a pharmacist by training, has more than 30 years of pharmacy healthcare experience, including 21 years with CVS Caremark. He has served in the role of EVP and COO for Caremark Pharmacy Services since 2010. Prior to that, he led pharmaceutical purchasing, pricing and network relations. While serving as the company’s CIO, Roberts spearheaded RxConnect, which significantly enhanced retail pharmacy performance. He spent more than 14 years in the company’s retail business and held a variety of senior roles including serving as the SVP retail operations.

"Jon is the right leader to build on the tremendous foundation that Per Lofberg has created for long-term success," stated Merlo. "Jon is a results-driven leader, whose analytical approach has served him well in the variety of roles he has held over his 20-year tenure with CVS Caremark. His broad base of pharmacy experience will further our mission to continually improve how we do business and look for ways to do it better, more efficiently and at a lower cost.

"This thoughtful leadership transition demonstrates the strength of our succession planning process, and importantly ensures that we’re well-positioned to continue to meet the needs of our clients and their members. As president and CEO, I am grateful to both Per and Jon for their partnership as we work together to position Caremark Pharmacy Services for continued long-term success."

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