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Mars gets green flag from EU to buy Wrigley

BY Jenna Duncan

BRUSSELS The European Commission (executive branch of the European Union) yesterday announced that it will not bar McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc. from acquiring chewing gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. The buyout will cost Mars $23 billion.

In a statement released to the press, the Commission said, “There is no overlap in the parties’ core confectionery activities (chocolate and gum).” The executive brand of the EU reportedly also stated that “although both parties are active in sugar confectionery, the limited market shares do not give rise to competition concerns.”

According to reports, the Mars deal was supported by financier Warren Buffett. Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, stands to gain a stake of more than 10 percent in Wrigley, which will become a separate subsidiary of Mars. Buffett also owns a stake in Kraft Inc.

The merger will create the world’s largest confectionery company, reports said.

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Campbell says it will extend V8 to soups

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell is announcing the latest addition to its V8 juice brand line-up; soups. The company has announced that it will add several V8-inspired soups to its Campbell’s Select Gold line.

Playing off of V8’s characteristic “eight vegetables-per-serving” reputation, the new line of soups will boast more nutrients and a rich, vegetable taste, company representatives said. The soups will be packaged in clean, green, streamlined containers.

Ads will debut on TV in September and in print in October in publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day and Cooking Light. Soup flavors will include garden broccoli, golden butternut squash, and sweet red pepper. Although no information has yet been released as to the company’s advertising spending, the Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported that last year Campbell Soup spent $525 million on advertising for its brands and $235 million this year, through May 2008.

Campbell first expanded on its V8 line in 1997, introducing V8 Splash, a line of juices blended with fruits and vegetables. V8 Splash brought in about $100 million in sales in its first year on shelves.

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Wrigley, recording artists adapt songs for ads

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has got some tricks up its sleeves for its latest commercial, including working jingles into newly-released “hit” songs, the Wall Street Journal today reported.

For example, a new track being released by artist Chris Brown, “Forever,” comes with a built-in extended version of a new Doublemint jingle. The jingle will be featured in 30-second spots for Wrigley’s chewing gum beginning next month.

Reports said that Brown and a couple other pop stars have been working with the ad agency Translation Advertising, an arm of Interpublic Group, to pump up some of Wrigley’s brands.

The spirit of the campaign is to work with emerging artists debuting tunes and turn them into jingles. Other talents on the Wrigley campaign lineup include country singer Julianne Hough singing Juicy Fruit’s “The taste is gonna move ya” and R&B singer Ne-Yo performing the “kiss a little longer” song for Big Red gum.

The new Wrigley “songs” will be released at a news conference in New York tomorrow where artists will perform live. The TV ads, radio placements and print ads previewing new Wrigley packaging will first appear in August.

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