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Vandor expands pop culture merchandise offerings

BY Allison Cerra

SALT LAKE CITY Licensed consumer-goods maker Vandor is expanding its portfolio with 55 new products for 2010.

The products range from stainless steel water bottles, travel mugs and fun-shaped tin totes, to eco-friendly tote bags and luggage tags that feature pop culture icons. During the first half of the year, Vandor introduced 91 new products in a revamped “Where Legends Live” product catalog, redesigned its website and secured rights to market products for the Star Wars trilogy. The company also developed a dual-licensed line of Betty Boop-Coca Cola products and introduced the first in its line of eco-friendly products.

“We’re committed to differentiating ourselves by providing the best customer experience,” said Tom Russo, Vandor’s new CEO.  “We’ll drive sales with high quality licensed products that appeal to multiple generations while making it easy for our retail customers to do business with us.”

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FDA advisory committee shoots down Vivus’ Qnexa

BY Alaric DeArment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. The possibility of a new drug for treating obesity suffered a setback Thursday as a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted against recommending its approval.

The FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 10 to 6 against recommending approval for Vivus’ drug Qnexa (phentermine and topiramate), citing safety concerns such as the possibility of psychiatric problems and birth defects.

“We appreciate the advisory committee’s recognition of obesity as a significant health crisis and the challenges associated with the treatment of this disease,” Vivus CEO Leland Wilson said. “We are disappointed with the advisory committee’s vote.”

The company said it would attempt to address the committee’s concerns. An advisory committee vote is a recommendation, and while the FDA will take it into account when deciding whether to approve a drug, it is not bound to follow it.

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Post-it launches Shopping Genius widget

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON 3M has developed a bargain-shopping widget with the help of its Post-it brand.

Inspired by usage of the classic Post-it note as a shopping list, 3M has developed an evolution of the shopping list for the digital age called Post-it Shopping Genius. How it works: Post-it Shopping Genius sits on your computer desktop, keeping an eye on the price changes for you, locating the cheapest price, and letting you know when it changes. The customizable application enables you to choose from thousands of electricals, durables and other consumer goods, and track up to five at a time.

The application — which can be directly downloaded from http://bit.ly/Post-itGenius and is available on iGoogle, Mac OS X desktop and Windows 7 / Vista desktops — displays up-to-date prices on many thousands of products, which are searchable within the tool.

In related news, 3M announced that it is offering a monthly monetary prize of 1,000 GBP ($1,542) or the value of a user’s shopping list if less as an incentive to those who refer the Shopping Genius application to a friend.

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