Retailers pitch back-to-school to penny-pinching parents

Back-to-school campaigns heat up; Jackson Browne claims copyright infringement on a McCain ad; Alberta beef campaign kicks off, and more.

Stores seeking to lure shoppers prior to the start of the school season are appealing to parents' concerns about the weakened economy and higher prices through creative promotions, The New York Times reports. These include an unusually large number of loss leaders, including a penny for eight No. 2 pencils at Staples and 50 cents for a watercolor set at Target.

In those states without planned tax-free shopping days, some stores, such as American Eagle in Florida, plan to offer their own “tax-free” discounts to draw in customers, the Associated Press reports.

All-in-all, the sales market for this season looks lackluster, hindered in part by a relatively tough summer job market for teenagers, Forbes reports, though concerns about rising prices could be good news for discounters like Target.

Also:

The New York Times takes a look back at the ads that promoted homeowner equity lines of credit (read: “debt”).

Following US beef recalls, Alberta beef producers launch “Raised Right” campaign.

Jackson Browne claims copyright infringement over the McCain campaign's “Running on Empty” ad.

Maine's major paper, the Portland Press-Herald, might shut down if not sold, according to court filings.

Chrysler's marketing tactics now include other companies' cars.

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