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Thu, Jan 18, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Retailing
Fujiya factory probed

Health authorities investigated a Fujiya cake factory yesterday suspected of using old milk in cream puffs and other confections as public outrage grew about sloppy sanitation standards at the popular Japanese confectioner. Earlier this week, Fujiya Co president Rintaro Fujii announced his resignation after acknowledging that a company probe had found old ingredients, including milk, cream, eggs, blueberry jam and apple filling, had been repeatedly used in products. But in the latest twist, Fujiya said yesterday that it had not gone public with a 1995 food poisoning case that sickened nine people who ate custard-filled cakes tainted with bacteria, company spokesman Fumio Shimada said.

■ Jobs

Career advancement survey

Employees who frequently work from home may be hurting their chances to advance their careers, a survey by Korn/Ferry International reported on Tuesday. So-called "telecommuters" are less likely to advance than peers who work in traditional office settings, 61 percent of the 1,300 global executives surveyed said. This was despite the belief by three-quarters of executives that telecommuters are as productive as their desk-bound colleagues, the survey found. Workers climbing the corporate ladder need "face time," said Robert McNabb, chief executive of Korn/Ferry's Futurestep division.

■ Automobiles

Call for alternative fuels

General Motors Corp chief executive Rick Wagoner called on the US government to promote development of alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and advanced battery technology by using tax credits or fuel subsidies. His comments -- made while oil prices are at a 19-month low -- came at an auto industry conference on Tuesday. Wagoner was happy the price of oil has dropped below US$52 a barrel but did not think it will last. "We run the risk of reverting back to our traditional energy policy," he told the Automotive News World Congress.

■ Entertainment

EMI, Baidu form partnership

EMI Group of Britain, the world's third-largest music group, and China's Baidu.com Inc (百度) said on Tuesday they had formed a strategic partnership to launch an advertising-supported online music streaming service in China. The two companies in a joint statement also agreed to explore advertising-supported music download services. Under the deal, the Chinese repertoire from EMI's Typhoon Music will be made available for streaming, free of charge, to all users of Baidu. Baidu will also create an "EMI Music Zone" that will legally stream all of EMI's Chinese artists.

■ Advertising

Watchdog berates Colgate

Colgate-Palmolive must stop claiming that more than 80 percent of dentists recommend its toothpaste, Britain's advertising watchdog ruled yesterday. The claim had appeared in poster adverts for Colgate Total Advanced Fresh toothpaste, prompting two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA said four of the Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Ltd brands were licensed medicinal products for which endorsement by health professionals was prohibited. Colgate said it had commissioned a research agency to survey dentists and hygienists on a wide range of subjects each year.

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