General Mills appoints Rick Palmore general counsel
MINNEAPOLIS General Mills on Wednesday appointed Roderick Palmore executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and risk management officer, effective Feb. 11, 2008. Palmore will have responsibility for the company’s worldwide legal activities, corporate ethics and compliance, and corporate security.
Palmore most recently served as executive vice president and general counsel at Sara Lee Corporation. He was named to the most recent issue of Inside Counsel magazine list of the “50 Most Influential In-House Counsels,” and had a broad impact on the legal profession through his leadership of “Call To Action,” an initiative he helped launch three years ago to improve the minority representation and mobility within law firms providing services to major corporations.
Palmore succeeds Siri Marshall, who retired effective Jan. 1, 2008. Marshall joined General Mills as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary in 1994, guiding the company’s worldwide legal activities. In addition to serving as the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary, Marshall also served as chief governance and compliance officer.
Cheetos introduces campaign aimed at adults
DALLAS Frito-Lay is setting its sights on building up Cheetos’ flat sales with a new focus on adults and Hispanics. The initiative includes boosting the brand’s ad spend by more than 50 percent.
Traditionally thought of as a children’s brand, consumer research has shown that more than 60 percent of Cheetos consumers were older than 18 years of age and that 43 percent of all childless households were consuming the brand’s products. In a bid to capture 18- to 49-year-old consumers, the PepsiCo subsidiary will beef up Cheetos’ presense on such networks as TBS, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and other late night programming.
In the new TV campaign breaking January 14, the company reimagines the Chester Cheetah from the kid-focused campaigns as a devil on the shoulder of adults. Additionally, the spots promote OrangeUnderground.com, a showcase for video ads and links to Cheetos-themed videos from YouTube.
The company also is introducing two new limited-time-only flavors, released each quarter, beginning in February. One flavor, Double Cheese, targets the general market while Chili Limon targets Hispanic consumers. The new Hispanic-targeted offering, which plays to a spicier flavor palette, was designed to deepen the brand’s connection with the demographic. Chili Limon will be supported by Spanish-language radio and outdoor advertising campaigns.
The effort comes as sales of Cheetos grew only 2 percent to $405 million last year for the 52-week period ended Dec. 2, 2007, according to Information Resources, Inc.—a noticable contrast to growth for other Frito-Lay brands like Sun Chips (up 29 percent to $189 million).
Pressure builds on S&N to accept bid
LONDON Shareholder pressure mounted on Scottish & Newcastle to accept a slight improvement in the offer of 750p ($15) a share from rival brewers Carlsberg and Heineken.
Last month, following Carlsberg and Heineken’s indicative ?7.3 billion ($14.4 billion) offer in November, the UK’s Takeover Panel imposed a January 21 deadline on the company to increase their offer for S&N or walk. Initially, most shareholders felt the 750p offer undervalued the company and were hoping for more than 800p. Recent evidence of falling beer consumption in Europe and the United Kingdom, as well as uncertainty about prospect for financial markets this year, has prompted some investors to lower their expectations.
Also, Legal & General and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, two of the UK brewer’s largest shareholders, said that before considering any offer they needed more information on the prospects for Baltic Beverages Holding, Carlsberg’s Russian 50-50 venture and S&N’s highest-margin and fastest-growing regional business with sales and earnings growing 33 percent last year, lifting profits by a third to ?393 million ($776.2 million). Carlsberg has blocked S&N from issuing more information about BBH, of which Mark Burgess, head of active equities at L&G Investment Management and S&N’s third-largest shareholder, has said that without more transparency on BBH, shareholders could not assess a fair price for S&N.