The Geek Squad and ‘Sex and the City’; also: Ecolab makes sale, UnitedHealth makes refund

The Geek Squad is looking out for the “unfortunate men” who might get dragged to see “Sex and the City” this weekend. Geek Squad agents will be outside theaters in select cities distributing pamphlets (PDF) as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign from the Best Buy-owned computer help service. The hand-outs include primers on the main characters, as well as a list of last-minute excuses to get out of going. An accompanying YouTube video, below, shows agents putting their reconnaissance skills to work investigating the phenomenon in New York.

Ecolab has completed the sale of its plant in Valby, Denmark. The St. Paul company, which makes cleaning and food safety products, said it will gain about $23 million after-taxes from the sale. The facility was built in 1930 when the area was an industrial park, but the area’s since been swallowed up into a suburb of Copenhagen and has become increasingly residential. Ecolab said production has been shifted to other plants.

Not a good news day for UnitedHealth Group. Health insurers owned by the Minnetonka-based HMO are making headlines for fleecing small business owners in New York and denying a child’s chemotherapy treatment in Wisconsin. UnitedHealth agreed to refund $50 million to 37,000 small businesses in New York after state regulators accused them of overcharging. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled Touchpoint Health Plan was wrong to deny an Appleton boy’s cancer treatment in 2002. The court ordered the company to retroactively reinstate the family’s coverage. UnitedHealth has owned Touchpoint since 2004.

Update: Associated Press issued this clarification Friday: “The story said UnitedHealthcare acquired Touchpoint in 2004. It should have noted that UnitedHealthcare acquired Touchpoint’s HMO license and membership but did not assume claims or liabilities prior to March 31, 2004, so it did not assume liability for the lawsuit.”

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