In a tiny story with potentially massive implications, Jonathan Birchall reports that Procter & Gamble is "supporting" a Web site devoted exclusively to its brands. "In an indication of the sensitivities involved, the site is being operated by a third party, which owns the inventory," he writes.
The Web site -- theEssentials.com
-- brings P&G into direct brand competition with its retailers.
Birchall also writes that Wal-Mart, P&G's largest customer, is hiring a strategy executive whose tasks include assessing the potential effect of direct-to-consumer sales by its own suppliers.