HEALTH

WRatings Corp. reveals Colgate-Palmolive as top consumer goods co.

BY Michael Johnsen

HERNDON, Va. The wRatings Corp., an independent stock research firm, last month revealed the results of the 2009 “Most Competitive Retail & Consumer Goods” study, finding that the recession has had a significant impact on consumer shopping behavior; 55% of the consumer-packaged goods companies among the top 20 rankings traded spots, with Colgate-Palmolive laying claim to the top spot.

“The competitive companies remaining in first quarter 2009 are on track to emerge from the recession with  greater customer and economic strength than their rivals,” wRatings stated. “Various reasons exist for their durability, but most critical are access to real-time data along with the ability to transform your business faster than ever before.”

To arrive at the rankings, wRatings asked consumers how well companies meet their expectations every quarter. The consumer ratings are categorized by nine competitive moats, or barriers to entry companies create to protect against rivals taking their customers and, ultimately, their profits. Each W Score blends a company’s historical  economic profit with its competitive moat scores.

Top 20 Most Competitive Consumer Goods Companies:

1. Colgate Toothpaste2. Mountain Dew/Diet MD3. Budweiser/Bud Light  4. Vaseline5. Kellogg Cereals6. Sam Adams/SA Light7. Weight Watchers8. Kleenex Tissue9. Clorox Products10. Gildan Activewear11. NIKE Products12. Marvel-Branded Products13. Coke/Diet Coke14. Crocs 15. Pepsi/Diet Pepsi16. Hormel Foods17t. Heelys17t. HNI Office Furniture  19. L’Oreal  20. Newport Cigarettes

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HHS partners with Ad Council, Sesame Workshop to develop PSAs on H1N1

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday announced that HHS is joining the Ad Council and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” to launch a national public-service advertising campaign designed to encourage American families and children to take steps to protect themselves from the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.

“Since the outbreak of the H1N1 flu, many Americans have expressed concern about how they can protect themselves from being infected,” stated Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services for this critical campaign that will educate parents and children about how to stay healthy. We are also grateful to Sesame Workshop for providing their resources and talent for the PSAs.”

As part of HHS and the Ad Council’s campaign, Sesame Workshop produced a television PSA featuring “Sesame Street’s” Elmo and Gordon explaining the importance of such healthy habits as washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and sneezing into the bend of your arm.

The campaign was unveiled Friday morning by Sebelius at the HHS/Department of Education Childcare Center in Washington, D.C. The PSAs will be distributed nationwide and will be supported in airtime donated by television stations.

The new PSA campaign focuses on the importance of providing parents, teachers and children with accurate information about how to practice healthy habits, highlighting proper hand-washing and simple everyday actions that lead to staying healthy and keeping germs away. Created by Sesame Workshop, the television PSAs encourage audiences to visit www.cdc.gov to get more information on how to stay healthy. The PSAs are an extension of Sesame’s Healthy Habits for Life initiative, which helps young children and their caregivers establish an early foundation of healthy habits.

The Ad Council will be distributing the PSAs via satellite to television stations nationwide.

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CDC: Face masks not necessary for anyone but healthcare professionals

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday issued an interim recommendation around face masks and respirators, suggesting that they are not necessary for use for anyone except those healthcare professionals treating a patient who is either known to have or is suspected of having the H1N1 influenza.

Face masks were one of the items that drug stores quickly ran out of in the wake of the first H1N1 flu reports last month.

“Information on the effectiveness of face masks and respirators for decreasing the risk of influenza infection in community settings is extremely limited,” the CDC stated. “Thus, it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in decreasing the risk of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus transmission.”

Instead, the CDC recommended people concerned about contacting the H1N1 virus should wash hands frequently, either with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner; cover mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing; avoid touching eyes, noses and mouths; if sick with the flu, stay home and minimize contact with others for seven days after symptoms begin or after being symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer; and avoid close contact, within 6 ft., with people infected with the H1N1 virus.

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