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Talk of the day: At McDonald's, Shrek and salad costar on menu

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 9, 2007


McDonald's Corp. said it will emphasize fruit, vegetables and milk in promotions tied to the animated film Shrek the Third, which opens May 18. Marketing will include Happy Meals toys in the shape of Shrek and promotions of salads, chicken sandwiches, sliced apples and low-fat milk for children, McDonald's said Tuesday. Shrek's affiliation with McDonald's sparked criticism last month from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group concerned about kids' obesity. Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., the studio led by Jeffrey Katzenberg, teamed with McDonald's after the world's largest restaurant company and Walt Disney Co. last year ended an exclusive marketing accord. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood praised the promotion of healthier food.

GM's truck offers in no-interest lane

General Motors Corp. is offering interest-free loans on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra after sales of the large pickups fell 11 percent last month. The incentive allows for 0 percent financing for 36-month loans on half-ton 2007 versions of the trucks. Buyers also may get 60-month loans at a reduced rate or a $1, 250 rebate on Sierras or $1, 500 cash back on similar Silverado models, the automaker said in a statement Tuesday. The offers run through July 9. Sales of the Sierra fell 1.9 percent in April from a year earlier and sales of the Silverado, the best-selling GM vehicle, dropped 14 percent.

Schools seek to reign in scalping

Exchanging tickets to graduation ceremonies has long been a tradition among students at universities and colleges that limit the number of guests. Students usually have advertised tickets or buying interest via posters and fliers around campus, but social-networking Web sites have expanded the ticket-selling market and in some cases led to a surge in prices. Saying that tickets to campus ceremonies are school property, some colleges and universities are clamping down on students who participate in secondhand ticket sales. Princeton University's student newspaper in April reported that students were trying to sell tickets for the June 5 commencement for between $70 and $100 each - and as much as $250. The school responded the next day with an e-mail warning to the class of 2007. "The University does not sell these tickets, and they are, strictly speaking, University property, not students' property, " the e-mail said. "Students who try to sell tickets, and students who buy them, are subject to disciplinary action.

Healthy changes at Wal-Mart delis

Delis inside Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets grocery stores have stopped using artery-clogging trans fats in fryers, the company said Tuesday. The delis offer a variety of fried foods, ranging from catfish, chicken, corndogs, potato wedges and hushpuppies. Store officials said all those products will now be produced in trans fat free oils, with a posted notice to customers announcing the change.