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Survey: Shoppers compelled to buy when armed with online coupons, coupon codes

BY Allison Cerra

AUSTIN, Texas — Online coupons and coupon codes could drive sales for businesses, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of WhaleShark Media, found that among 504 coupon site users surveyed, active coupon users reported not only spent more than less active coupon users ($1,850 versus $1,025), nearly three-quarters of active coupon users (74%) polled said that they more likely would try a new brand if they received a coupon or promotion code, versus 54% of less active coupon users. Additionally, visitors to online coupon sites made 18% more online purchases in the last six months and said they expect to spend 16% more (compared with other shoppers) in the next 12 months.

When it came to how coupons or coupon codes motivated spending, 88% said the promotions helped “close the deal” on their decision to make a purchase; 60% said they would be more likely to reconsider purchasing an item that hadn’t previously bought if they received an online coupon or promotion code. A majority of those surveyed said online coupons and coupon codes boost a company’s brand image (80%) and prompt positive feeling towards companies that offer them (88%).

Although it is known that online coupon use is on the rise, WhaleShark Media, which operates such couponing sites as CouponShare.com, Deals.com, RetailMeNot.com and more, said it commissioned the survey to understand what this meant to those providing the deals (i.e., retailers and suppliers).

“The results are very compelling, suggesting that a mix of creative and effective retailer marketing, coupled with savvy and resourceful shoppers, can dramatically spur shopping activity and retailer sales,” WhaleShark Media CEO Cotter Cunningham said.

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Walgreens, Express Scripts reach agreement on two plans in Puerto Rico

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — MMM Healthcare and PMC Medicare Choice on Friday announced that MMM and PMC members will continue to have access to the Walgreens pharmacy network. Walgreens and Express Scripts have reached an agreement specifically regarding these plans in Puerto Rico, according to a Walgreens spokesperson.

"We are extremely satisfied that Express Scripts, our pharmacy services administrator, and Walgreens were able to reach an agreement so that the MMM and PMC members can continue accessing Walgreens pharmacies," MMM and PMC president Orlando Gonzalez said. "Although we have an ample pharmacy network, our main interest is to ensure that our members have adequate and timely access to their medications on the Island or when they travel stateside."

"This contract will enable us to continue providing our convenient, accessible pharmacy services to the thousands of MMM and PMC members in Puerto Rico after Dec. 31, and is evidence of the commitment Walgreens has in working with our partners to continue serving our patients and customers," Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness services Kermit Crawford said.

MMM Healthcare is one of the leading companies in the Medicare Advantage segment on the Island, with more than 153,000 covered lives and more than 8,000 providers. The company was the first plan authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to serve the Medicare Advantage market in Puerto Rico.

A sister plan to MMM, PMC Medicare Choice provides extended benefits to the Medicare population. Founded in 2004, PMC covers more than 47,000 lives through a broad network of more than 8,000 contracted primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals and other points of care across Puerto Rico.


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CEW names Unilever’s Gina Boswell 2011 Achiever of the Year in beauty

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever’s Gina Boswell, who was recently appointed EVP personal care for North America, has been selected as a 2011 Achiever of the Year, one of the highest awards bestowed in the beauty industry, by nonprofit Cosmetic Executive Women.

This year’s honorees will be feted Oct. 14 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

Formerly as president of global brands for Alberto-Culver, Boswell oversaw all global brands for the company, including Tresemmé, Nexxus, St. Ives and Noxzema, as well as marketing, research and development, package design and consumer insights. Unilever acquired Alberto-Culver in May 2011. 

In her new role, Boswell is responsible for all brand and marketing activities for the $4.5 billion personal care portfolio, which is made up of hair care, deodorant, skin cleansing and skin care categories.


“I am thrilled to have been selected as one of this year’s honorees among some of the cosmetics industry’s most talented women,” Boswell said. "I’m personally inspired by each of these individuals and so proud of the impact we all make on the industry and the example we set as women leaders."

The CEW Achiever Awards were established in 1975 to honor leading women executives who have contributed significantly to the growth of the beauty industry and the advancement of women. The CEW board of governors votes on honorees annually, and awards are presented at the Achiever Awards event.

Previously, Boswell was recognized as one of the top 15 women in business by the Forte Foundation and Pink Magazine. She also serves on the board of directors for Manpower and the YMCA of the USA, and she was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2005.

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