CINCINNATI -- Procter & Gamble here said it has discontinued its 14-month test of coupon elimination in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., and is "returning to our national marketing plan in these markets." Popularly referred to as the "zero coupon test," the P&G study has drawn much industry scrutiny since it began in February 1996. The test's premise was the company's belief that broad-distribution coupons are an inherently inefficient way of delivering value to the consumer. ...

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