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Brand Names Buckle Under


In Business This Week

BRAND NAMES BUCKLE UNDER

More evidence that branded goods aren't what they used to be. On July 21, Philip Morris confirmed that it would stick with the 40 -a-pack discount on its flagship Marlboro cigarettes. In fact, it's applying the cut, announced two months ago as a limited-time measure, to all its premium-priced cigarettes. A few days before, Procter & Gamble announced cuts of 13,000 jobs, or 12% of the company's work force. Chairman Ed Artzt, announcing the cuts and a $1.5 billion aftertax earnings charge at a rare meeting with financial analysts, said P&G must bring out new products faster and must respond to consumers' increasing demand for value. The plan to lay off workers didn't impress investors, who knocked the stock down 2 3/4 to close at 49 3/4 on July 21.EDITED BY JULIE TILSNER


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