OPERATIONS

Report: Indian prime minister candidate speaks in favor of big retail

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Delhi, India – Narendra Modi, candidate of opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Indian prime minister, reportedly has made statements in favor of global online retailing and India’s small retailers learning to compete with large retailers. According to Reuters, at a meeting of the Confederation of All India Traders, Modi said small local retailers should improve the quality of their goods to a level closer to that of large global competitors, and also consider entering contracts with large online retailers to create virtual trade.

Modi, whose party still officially opposes investments by large foreign supermarket chains in India, also said the Indian government should not restrict online trade and also said he supports a nationwide goods and services tax (GST), which is seen as a way to reduce business costs and create a uniform Indian market. He did not openly speak in favor of foreign supermarkets investing in India, but also declined to repeat previous statements against that type of investment. India is expected to hold prime minister elections in April or May 2014.

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News

Bend it like… Clorox

BY CSA STAFF

The Clorox Company has entered into an agreement with Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the commercial arm of Major League Soccer, making it an official partner of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the Federación Mexicana de Futbol (FMF, also known as the Mexican national team).

Under the terms of the agreement with SUM, Clorox will support the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams through sales and marketing efforts highlighting the company’s Clorox, Kingsford, Hidden Valley and Glad brands. It will support the Mexican men’s team in the United States through similar efforts involving the Clorox, Kingsford and Glad brands.

"Our company’s affiliation with the sport of soccer is a natural fit for us because we share a strong appeal among families," said Benno Dorer, EVP and chief operating officer, cleaning, international and corporate strategy. "With soccer’s legions of followers from around the world — myself included — we hope this partnership will enable us to build awareness of our brands with the sport’s hugely loyal, enthusiastic and diverse fan base."

The partnership involves sales and marketing efforts along with in-store support from major retailers. Activities under way this year include TV ads for Kingsford charcoal and Glad trash bags; custom packaging; a consumer sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $25,000; and in-store ads, coupon offers and messaging at point of sale.

"Ahead of this year’s events in Brazil, there has never been a better time to align with the sport of soccer," said David Wright, SVP of global sponsorship for Soccer United Marketing. "We’re excited that the family of Clorox products is now a member of our soccer family."

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FINANCE

Icahn outlines six ‘facts’ in new EBay letter

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who released an open letter criticizing the board of EBay for conflicts of interest on Feb. 24, has released a second open letter outlining what he calls six facts about questionable decisions by the current EBay board.

These facts, as stated by Icahn, are that EBay has refused to engage in open debate and so far has not responded to an offer from CNBC to conduct a public forum between Icahn and EBay that EBay pre-empted a planned IPO of Skype and instead sold it at 70% below purchase price to board member Marc Andreessen; that EBay so far has not responded to a request by Icahn to examine all books and records relating to the Skype sale; that Andreeseen sits on the boards of and advises at least five direct EBay competitors; that board member Scott Cook’s status as founder and board member of Intuit poses a conflict of interest to EBay’s PayPal business; and that the Department of Justice is investigating a previous hiring embargo on Intuit employees Cook requested of EBay.

EBay, which issued a public response to Icahn’s previous open letter, has not yet responded.

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