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Report: Costco-backed liquor initiative passes in Washington state

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Washington state government’s cap on quaffable spirits popped open Wednesday as voters there passed a ballot initiative to allow private retailers to sell liquor, according to published reports.

The Seattle Times reported that as of Tuesday night, about 60% of voters had voted in favor of Initiative 1183, which will allow supermarkets and mass-merchandise retailers to start selling liquor in June. Costco contributed most of the funding in favor of the initiative and the Seattle Times reported last month that the $22 million it contributed broke state records for the most money spent by any single donor on an initiative.

Washington is one of the handful of states in which liquor sales are restricted to special state-owned stores. The policy, which dates back to the aftermath of Prohibition, was created as a way to continue limiting the sales and consumption of liquor. The success of I-1183 follows the failure last year of a similar initiative, which also received heavy backing from Costco.
 

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Mountain Dew launches sweepstakes in line with release of latest ‘Call of Duty’ game

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — To celebrate the release of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," Mountain Dew has announced a sweepstakes where consumers can receive a chance to play the video game with three friends on a stadium screen.

Now until Nov. 14, consumers can enter to win the ultimate "mega fan experience" by visiting the "mega fan" tab on the Mountain Dew Facebook page and uploading a picture of the Mtn Dew Mega XP 20-pack, available exclusively at Walmart. By participating in this offer, fans are eligible to win the grand prize or an Xbox 360 limited-edition "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" bundle.

For official rules, click here.

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Mars Retail Group looks to deck the halls with new M&M’s holiday products

BY Allison Cerra

MOUNT ARLINGTON, N.J. — Mars Retail Group is introducing M&M’s gifts in time for the holidays.

The lineup for the 2011 holiday season includes such products as:

  • Nine holiday-themed inflatable yard decorations developed by MRG and Gemmy Industries Corp., which carry a suggested retail price range from $29.99 to $79.99;

  • Shakerz, also developed by MRG and Gemmy Industries Corp., are animated M&M’s characters that shake and play holiday music carry a suggested retail price of $9.99;

  • MRG and Incipio have introduced protective iPhone 4/4S covers, which include the dotties case, available in four background hues and sprinkled with colorful and interchangeable M&M’s chocolate candies dots, carries a suggested retail price of $34.99.

  • MRG and Incipio also have introduced the feather case, which features an M&M’s character face in 1-of-4 colors and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99; and

  • BioWorld and MRG have developed a hinge wallet that features the yellow M&M’s character for a suggested retail price of $12.

"The M&M’s brand appeals to all generations, so we’re introducing a range of items that will spread joy and colorful family fun during the holiday season," MRG general manager of licensing John Capizzi said. "You’ll find something for everyone on your gift list."

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