Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

"Can't keep increasing the ad budget forever."
P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It's Free To Advertise On Facebook -- Reality appears to have finally arrived at Procter & Gamble, the world's largest marketer, whose $10 billion annual ad budget has hurt the company's margins. P&G said it would lay off 1,600 staffers, including marketers, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. More interestingly, CEO Robert McDonald finally seems to have woken up to the fact that he cannot keep increasing P&G's ad budget forever, regardless of what happens to its sales.

When your graphic image suppliers are inmates with a sense of humor...
Vermont Inmates Slip Pig Image Into Police Decal -- Inmates working at a Vermont correctional unit's print shop managed to sneak a prank image of a pig into a state police crest. The image is emblazoned on police cars, and 30 cruisers sported the design for the last year. The official crest depicts a spotted cow against a background of snowy mountains. But the inmates' version featured one of the cow's spots shaped like a pig in an apparent reference to the pejorative word for police.

Where does your state stand?
Did the Stimulus Do Anything for Transparency? -- Three years after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) -- better known as the stimulus -- into law, there's still a bitter political debate about its legacy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that at its peak in the third quarter of 2010, the stimulus increased employment by anywhere from 700,000 to 3.6 million people. Yet those on the right who disagree with the Keynesian idea that the public sector can stimulate the economy say that ARRA has done little to help, and that it has only exacerbated the country's mounting debt. "We are better off now than we would have been if I hadn't taken all the steps that we took," Obama told a CBS affiliate last fall. House Speaker John Boehner had a curt response: "Are you kidding me?"

Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Peter Seeberger: we can treat malaria for less -- Artemisinin, a drug extracted from the sweet wormwood plant, is the most effective treatment for malaria ever discovered. Every year, millions of doses of artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are donated to Africa and Asia, greatly reducing the worldwide burden of the parasitical disease. But extracting artemisinin is expensive and because it takes time to cultivate the plant there are often bottlenecks in supply.

- Sheena Moore

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