NEWS ROUNDUP

Kinko's, Gibson Renew PactVentura, Calif., has renewed a three-year contract for Gibson Greetings here to supply stationery and greeting cards to its more than 380 branches across the country. Card products include Gibson's alternative lines such as Buzzcuts and Chicken Soup for the Soul.The renewal of the agreement with one of the card manufacturer's 10 largest accounts "represents an important victory

Kinko's, Gibson Renew Pact

Ventura, Calif., has renewed a three-year contract for Gibson Greetings here to supply stationery and greeting cards to its more than 380 branches across the country. Card products include Gibson's alternative lines such as Buzzcuts and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The renewal of the agreement with one of the card manufacturer's 10 largest accounts "represents an important victory for Gibson in an increasingly competitive marketplace," said Frank J. O'Connell, Gibson's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"Gibson's strength in creative product development and customer service has been instrumental in driving Kinko's paper-center product offerings," said Ross Waddell, Kinko's vice president of purchasing.

Swiffer Distribution to Widen

CINCINNATI -- Procter & Gamble here in July will expand distribution of its Swiffer cleaning system for floors or hand dusting into additional food, drug and mass stores. When wiped across floors or other household surfaces a web of microfibers in Swiffer's soft, dry cloths creates an electrostatic action that attracts household soil, hair and other particles without stirring up dust.

The flexible, swivel-head sweeper can get to hard-to-reach-places such as under the refrigerator and ceilings. P&G began test marketing Swiffer last fall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; in Pittsfield, Mass.; and in France. Starter kits, which include a lightweight sweeper and eight disposable cloths, retail for about $15, with refills in eight-, 16- and 32-count packs.

Sprint Extends Card Minutes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sprint here last month lowered the domestic and international calling rates on its Spree Prepaid Foncards. The new rate structure provides nine to 42 additional minutes for domestic calling, depending on the card denomination, and lower international long-distance prepaid card calling, reducing per-minute charges by up to 50% to more than 210 international locations.

Two of Spree's most widely used cards -- for $10 and $20 -- will see the biggest percentage increase of additional domestic calling minutes, the $10 card going from 31 to 40 minutes, while the $20 card jumps from 63 to 80 minutes. Cards purchased prior to May 1 will automatically receive the additional minutes, said Amy Mosier, director of prepaid card marketing for Sprint.

DuraLife Photo Paper Launched

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Eastman Kodak here has introduced DuraLife photographic paper, a laminated multilayered sheet with tear-resistance that also has increased curl-resistance. Delivering sharper, brighter images, DuraLife is more rigid than other papers and it is easier to write on its back. It is made using a formula of multiple polymer layers built on a thinner, reformulated paper base that produces glossy pictures with less glare. DuraLife is also the centerpiece of the manufacturer's new Kodak Picture Processing. "With Kodak Pictures we're extending the Kodak brand across the imaging chain to give consumers the pictures they want -- whether captured on film or with a digital camera, displayed on a computer screen, reprinted on a digital kiosk or stored on a floppy CD," said William Smith, worldwide marketing manger for output products at the Consumer Imaging division.