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Avella named fastest-growing Ariz. company

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards has named Avella Specialty Pharmacy as the fastest-growing private company based in the state, Avella said.

Avella, formerly known as The Apothecary Shops, received the award from the Phoenix Business Journal. The ACE Awards recognize private companies based on the growth of their business, innovation, community involvement, dedication to employees and leadership accomplishments. The company changed its name to Avella in July.

"It is a blessing to lead such a talented group of people, and we look forward to our bright future," Avella CEO John Musil said. "We are growing because it’s the right thing for our partners and customers."

The company noted that it reached the 1,064th place on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country, up more than 500 places from 2011.


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Secret deodorant steps up battle against bullying, names Demi Lovato as ambassador

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — As students across the country head back to school, Procter & Gamble’s Secret Deodorant brand is gearing up for the second year of its Mean Stinks anti-bullying movement.

In the second year of the program, Secret is stepping up its efforts by teaming up with musical artist Demi Lovato as the new Mean Stinks ambassador to inspire girls to “Gang Up for Good.” Girls can join Lovato in the movement to help bring an end to mean behavior by taking the Mean Stinks pinky swear, by painting their pinky nails blue in a show of peace and solidarity to keep bullying out of their group of friends.

“I’ve teamed up with Secret Deodorant as their new Mean Stinks ambassador because it’s important to me to use my voice to help end bullying,” Lovato stated. “Urging young women to ‘Gang Up for Good’ is a really great way to inspire us all to change the way we think when it comes to being a bully, witnessing bullying or being the victim of a bully.”

Beginning in October, girls nationwide can join this year’s Mean Stinks program by participating in a number of activities designed to educate about, and stand up to, bullying. Beginning in October, National Bullying Prevention Month, a downloadable Mean Stinks “Gang Up For Good” Kit will be available featuring lessons and a detailed assembly plan for girls, schools and parents.

To help girls “stick up” against what really stinks, being mean, and protect against the “stink” caused by wetness and odor, Secret has created new Secret Mean Stinks Clinical Strength. As part of Secret’s commitment to bring an end to girl-to-girl bullying, the brand will donate $1 from every Mean Stinks Clinical Strength purchase to Girls on the Run to fund their girl empowerment programming and help prevent mean behavior before it starts. Secret Mean Stinks Clinical Strength is available at select major retailers nationwide and the P&G E-store.

Inspiring change is one piece of the puzzle, but to help keep bullying and drama out of the equation long term, P&G and Secret have formed a relationship with leading researchers on youth social aggression at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, awarding them a P&G grant to develop an anti-bullying curriculum, with the intent to pilot it select schools this coming year.

The most recent U.S. Department of Justice report shows 30% of female students in grades 6 to 12 were bullied at school or cyber bullied during the 2009-2010 school year.

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Church & Dwight agrees to modify First Response ad claim

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division on Thursday recommended that Church & Dwight discontinue its claim that the company’s First Response digital ovulation test is the “first and only test to predict ovulation based on your unique LH hormone level.”

The claim, which appeared on product packaging and on the company’s website, was challenged by SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, the maker of the Clearblue DOT, a competing digital ovulation test product.

The claim that the product — through use of an adaptive algorithm —can predict ovulation based on woman’s own luteinizing hormone level, suggests a test that is more sensitive than a test that only compares a woman’s daily LH measurements to some fixed threshold LH value, NAD noted. The claim is of significance to women who use home ovulation tests because LH Surge (the signal for ovulation) varies from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle.

A key consideration for NAD was the mechanism of action for each product. The issue, NAD noted, was not whether First Response —through use of an adaptive algorithm — predicts ovulation based on the user’s individual level of LH hormone, but whether it is the “first” and “only” home ovulation test to do so. The accuracy of the challenged claim, NAD noted, depended not on how the advertiser’s own product works, but on the mechanism of action for Clearblue DOT, the challenger’s product.

Advertisers are required to possess a reasonable basis for their product claims. In a case involving a “first and only” claim, the advertiser’s burden necessitates that it have some amount of information regarding how other competing products operate, information that may or may not be readily available, NAD noted.

In this case, C&D maintained that it had identified through its own testing key distinctions between the products that indicated Clearblue does not use a similar adaptive algorithm, NAD reported. NAD determined that although the evidence demonstrated that the products perform using different mechanisms, the evidence failed to show that Clearblue DOT does not utilize an adaptive algorithm.

Further, C&D maintained that SPD did not, prior to 2010, claim in its own advertising or package inserts to use such an adaptive algorithm, nor was the advertiser aware of any other competitor who did.

Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that Church & Dwight — at the time it initially made the claim — had a reasonable basis for stating that First Response was the first and only test to predict ovulation based on a user’s unique LH hormone level.

However, NAD found, absent evidence that SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics does not also use an adaptive algorithm, the advertiser cannot continue the make the claim. NAD recommended the claim be discontinued.

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