Good Causes and Effects, Sports-Loving Women,

Here’s further evidence that women are thedo-gooding sex. A holiday-shopping study by Cone Inc. found 64 percent of women saying they plan to buy products for which part of the price is donated to a cause; 51 percent of men said the same. Likewise, 56 percent of women (vs. 48 percent of men) plan to buy gifts from retailers that give a cut to a good cause. Women are also more likely to feel companies should donate goods and/or services to charities, though that opinion commands great support from both sexes (84 percent of women, 74 percent of men).

How might war in Iraq affect the economy here? We get a clue from a survey fielded by International Communications Research for the Debt Relief Clearinghouse. If war does come, 27 percent of respondents said they’d reduce their use of credit cards to make major purchases. Seventy percent said a war wouldn’t alter their use of credit. Three percent said they’d spend more!

Every dog has its day, but that day might not come until its owner is dead. An ad for a Minneapolis law firm regards that prospect with equanimity, so long as Fido’s interests have been safeguarded by proper estate planning. Group One Communications in Minneapolis created the piece.

In late spring, a teenager’s fancy turns toward tobacco. A study by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse found May and June to be the months in which teens were most likely to start smoking cigarettes. As described in a Reuters Health article, the study determined that 47 percent of teen smokers had initiated the habit during May, June, July or August. Though some studies have indicated kids smoke more during the summer than in other seasons, this one found teen smokers averaging 11 cigarettes per day throughout the year.

You wouldn’t guess it from the struggle women’s sports magazines have had, but increasing numbers of American women are fans of professional sports. According to a study by Scarborough Sports Marketing, 50 million adult women “avidly” follow pro sports. Thirty-one percent of women said they’re fans of NFL football. Big-league baseball is close behind (28 percent). Also garnering a big female following are NBA basketball (19 percent), Nascar racing (13 percent), PGA golf (12 percent) and NHL hockey (10 percent). Looking at metro areas, the study found the highest concentrations of female sports fans in Denver, Minneapolis, Buffalo, N.Y., and Cleveland. Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif., were among the markets in which female interest is lowest, as were Wichita, Kan., and El Paso, Texas.

Now that the American Public Health Association has recommended a 50 percent reduction in Americans’ salt intake from processed foods and restaurant meals, can it be long before lawsuits take aim at Big Sodium?

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t make the roster. In compiling its list of the “15 Sexiest People of the 20th Century” (via an online poll), Biography magazine inexplicably omitted a “Sexiest Ad Gal/Guy” category. Marilyn Monroe was voted Sexiest Bombshell. Sean Connery scored as Sexiest Male Movie Legend, while Elizabeth Taylor was voted Sexiest Female Movie Legend. Audrey Hepburn won as Sexiest Good Girl; Robert Downey Jr. was Sexiest Troublemaker. Among the other names on the list: Princess Diana (Sexiest Royal); Halle Berry (Sexiest Actress Today); Tommy Lee Jones (Most Unlikely Sex Symbol); and Cindy Crawford (Sexiest Supermodel/Mom).

Honors this week for the Best Use of Fraternal Comb-overs go to Delphi Consultants. The photo of the less-than-hirsute Helmicke brothers aptly stresses the claim of Delphi (“smaller than our Big 5 competitors” in the consulting biz) that “We do more with less,” while also underscoring its assertion that “We’ve got you covered.” The agency for the effort is Nourzads in Austin, Texas.

Lady Macbeth might give a different answer. But a plurality of American consumers—few of whom have murdered any kings lately—rated spaghetti sauce as the stain that’s toughest to remove. In a survey commissioned by Orange Glo International, which sells spot-removing wipes, lipstick (19 percent) and wine (18 percent) led the rest of the clothes-staining villains. Farther down in the voting were coffee (10 percent), grease/oil (5 percent), blood (2 percent) and ink (2 percent). One can speculate on a regional variation in Americans’ vices by noting that lipstick led the voting in the Northeast, while wine was the stain most dreaded in the West.

And our Gender Gap of the Week comes via an online survey by CoolSavings. Asked to say what causes them the most stress when they’re shopping for holiday gifts, men were more likely than women to cite “long lines and crowds” (36 percent vs.24 percent). Conversely, women were more likely than men to say they’re most stressed about “getting the best price” for their purchases (26 percent vs. 16 percent). The two cohorts were almost equally likely to say they worry most about knowing the right gifts to buy (35 percent of men and 34 percent of women).