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Ice Bucket challenge proves a boon for ALS research

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — Over the past weeks, celebrities — including professional athletes, actors, musicians and even governors — have filmed themselves being doused in icy water as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral stunt, which challenges people to either dump a bucket of iced water on their heads or to donate $100 for ALS research, has proven a financial windfall for the ALS Association.

From July 29 to Aug. 18, people have donated $15.6 million to the nonprofit, which works in various capacities, including research to push for a cure for the neurodegenerative disease. The amount raised in the past weeks — from both past donors and 307,598 new donors — is about a 766% increase in donations over the same period last year, when it raised $1.8 million.

“The ALS Association is extremely grateful for the generosity of these donors, and for the actions of several people who initiated and spread this incredible viral effort.” ALS Association President and CEO Barbara Newhouse wrote in a letter on Aug. 16, adding that they plan to “invest prudently in helping people with ALS and their families and caregivers in the battle against the disease, while resolutely pursuing all avenues to extend, improve and ultimately save lives.”

In her letter, Newhouse explained that with the donations, the association will be prioritizing its research — it currently oversee 98 projects, and will be launching 21 more — as well as the care services it provides through local chapters across the United States and working on public engagement campaigns.

“Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box,” Newhouse wrote. “We will be able to strategize about efforts in ways that previously would not have been possible, all while we work to fulfill and enhance our existing mission priorities nationwide.”

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NFL star Cam Newton the face of new Guy Laroche fragrance

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — L'Oréal USA's International Designer Collections Division on Monday announced the launch of a new Guy Laroche fragrance, Drakkar Essence. NFL quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton has been tapped to be the face of the campaign.

"The ambition for Drakkar Essence was to open another segment of the market, the millennial generation," said Alexandre Choueiri, president of International Designer Collections at L'Oréal USA. "To embody Drakkar Essence, we were looking for a strong, young American athlete who not only excels in the sport he does, but who also can deliver more on an emotional level. Cam Newton's wit, charm, self-confidence, charitable action and sense of purpose are the attributes that make him so appealing to his fans, personifying the next evolution of the Drakkar brand."

The fragrance launch will be accompanied with a social media campaign, featuring exclusive video and photo content of Newton, who also will be featured in print and digital advertising materials. Newton, who is known for his signature superman pose, will encourage consumers to share their own poses using the hashtag #showyourpower.

"It's a huge honor to represent Drakkar Essence and be able to show the world my personality and style," Newton said. "The Drakkar Essence man is bold, strong, fashionable and confident. He is powerful and embraces the moment. When he walks into the room, he doesn't have to say a word — you don't know who he is or what he does — but you know he's important."

To take part in the #showyourpower campaign, consumers can visit Facebook.com/DrakkarEssence and use the handle @DrakkarEssence on Twitter and Instagram. For every social media submission using the #showyourpower hashtag,  L'Oréal USA's International Designer Collections Division will donate one dollar to the Cam Newton Foundation.

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Report: P&G exploring divestiture of as many as 100 brands

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble is exploring the divestiture of as many as 100 underperforming brands, according to a report in the New York Times published Monday
 
Duracell batteries and Braun shavers are the two largest assets likely to be divested, NYT reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. 
 
According to the report, sales of the brands under review collectively total as much as $900 million; Duracell accounts for $500 million in sales, and Braun accounts for $100 million. 
 
The potential brand sale has attracted several private equity firms, NYT reported. 
 
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