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Alias Born 09/09/2009

Friday, October 02, 2009 8:09:54 PM

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Dunkin' Donuts -- "number one coffee and baked goods brand worldwide" -- loses second top executive in a year

Its president and chief brand officer, William Kussell, will leave at the end of the year. There are no plans to replace him, and Dunkin's CEO of 10 months, Nigel Travis, will assume the title of president.

In the 15 years Kussell worked at Dunkin', it grew from a chain of 3,000 stores to what Travis calls "the number one coffee and baked goods brand worldwide with more than 8,800 stores in 31 countries," Advertising Age reported.

Starbucks has almost twice as many stores, so where does the "number one" part come from? Adding "baked goods" to the description? A customer satisfaction survey?

As Advertising Age points out, "The chain [corporate sibling to Baskin-Robbins and Togo's sandwich chain] is embroiled in a hot coffee war with McDonald's and Starbucks, and recently revived the comparative 'Dunkin' Beat Starbucks' campaign first launched last October."

Starbucks has fought back with its first national brand campaign, and this week's Via ads accompanying the rollout of its instant coffee (which, incidentally, the Wall Street Journal reports, was once called "a product of last resort" by Starbucks' former head of research and development.)

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