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Macy’s to Start New Celebrity Ads

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati Macy’s has brushed up its spring campaign with two new ads and its first celebrity ad in Spanish, according to the Associated Press.

The company plans to debut the Spanish version of the spot featuring guitarist Carlos Santana and R&B singer Mariah Carey on Sunday, with the English version of that and another ad with Calvin Klein model Gabriel Aubry rolling out in network primetime next week.

Martha Stewart and Donald Trump, holdovers from Macy’s earlier celebrity campaign, will join those new stars for the national TV ads.

The company started airing its first star-packed ads last fall to fight disappointing sales and lingering resistance to its takeover of local department stores absorbed in the 2005 acquisition of May Department Stores Co.

Similar to earlier ads, the new ads will show celebrities primping their designer lines as if in preparation for customers, while gently poking fun at their public images.

“They are going to be very similar, but with a few less celebrities so we can really highlight the brands, especially some that customers may not know we have,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive VP of corporate marketing.

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Staples makes offer to buy Corporate Express

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples today confirmed that it will make a public offer for all the outstanding ordinary shares and American depositary shares issued by Corporate Express for a price of EUR 7.25 ($8.63) per ordinary share and ADS.

“While we continue to be disappointed that Corporate Express’ Executive and Supervisory Boards have not entered into a negotiation with us about the transaction, we remain very enthusiastic about a combination between the two companies,” said Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and ceo. “Based on public information, Staples firmly believes its proposal is the most valuable option available to Corporate Express’ shareholders and will deliver significant benefits for customers and employees.”

Staples expects to submit a request for approval of the offer memorandum in respect of the offer to the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets before May 13, which is the date by which under Dutch law a request for approval must be submitted to the AFM. In addition, Staples plans to make all necessary competition regulatory filings prior to May 13.

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CVS settles ranitidine dispension suit

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark today said that it has reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and a number of state Attorneys General to resolve an investigation into the practice of its CVS/pharmacy retail pharmacies of dispensing the generic drug ranitidine in capsule rather than tablet form to Medicaid recipients.

CVS Caremark has denied any wrongful conduct and said that that for many years it has dispensed the capsule from of rantidine to all patients, not just Medicaid recipients, due to the fact that the acquisition cost of capsules was lower than the cost of tablets. According to the company, both forms contain the same active ingredients.

According to CVS Caremark, the government alleged that the practice of dispensing capsules instead of tablets was motivated by a desire to increase Medicaid reimbursement. The company has expressly denied this allegation.

The settlement calls for payment by the company of $36.7 million, plus approximately $800,000 in investigative costs and other fees. The company said this will not affect its 2008 earnings results.

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