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Publicis Groupe is taking a 100 percent stake in Gravitas, a marketing-services agency in Japan. Gravitas will be rebranded Publicis Dialog and merged with Publicis Japan's existing operations, creating an agency with roughly $6 million in revenue and 70 staffers. Louis-Sébastien Ohl, Publicis Japan's current CEO, will help in the transition and then take a new international post within Publicis Groupe, Paris. Gravitas founders Sloan Carr and Jeff Loucks will become CEO designate for Publicis Japan and head of Publicis Dialog, respectively. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Church & Dwight shifted an estimated $25-30 million in billings, from brands such as Arrid antiperspirant and Trojan condoms, in-house from Bates in New York. Bates, which also handled advertising for Nair depilatories and First Response home pregnancy-test kits, confirmed that the move took place late last year. The Princeton, N.J.-based household- and personal-care products manufacturer acquired the brands from Carter-Wallace in October.

McCann-Erickson landed direct-to-consumer advertising duties for three products from Berlex Laboratories, a U.S. affiliate of German company Schering AG. The decision followed a review of undisclosed shops. Two of the products are female contraceptives, Mirena and Yasmin, and the third, Climara, is an estrogen-replacement patch. Combined estimated spending is about $20 million, sources said. It is the first time the Montville, N.J.-based client has used an agency for these products.

John Eccleston, a former partner and chief creative officer of Earle Palmer Brown's public relations group, formed OpenGate Marketing Communications. The New York-based company, which also has an office in Stony Point, specializes in consumer and business-to-business marketing communications. It provides public relations, sales-promotion, strategic marketing-consulting, and product- and corporate-branding services.

KraftWorks Advertising, an advertising and branding agency that specializes in style brands, won the La Prairie skincare account. The shop will create a print campaign for the New York-based client's new product line, Caviar Foundation; the work is set to break in the May issue of W magazine. New York-based KraftWorks was founded in October 2000.

Rabasca + Co. finished production on two 30-second TV spots for Catholic Health Services of Long Island, a network of hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare facilities and human-service programs in Long Island. "Values" shows CHS patients and employees discussing the programs and services that the client provides. In the second commercial, "Recruitment," the network's employees talk about why they're proud of what they do. The spots are part of an ongoing branding effort for CHS, and be gan airing early this month on local and cable stations, such as A&E, MSNBC and Lifetime. Rabasca + Co. is based in Melville.

Marketing-communications agency MRA was hired by The Savings Bank of Utica. The shop, which is based in Syracuse and Atlanta, will handle the bank's strategic planning, design, print and broadcast advertising, media services, interactive and public relations efforts. The client operates nine branches in central New York.

Eric Mower and Associates Public Relations Services Group will publicize JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge events in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The Roch ester race will take place on May 30, the Buffalo one on June 13 and Syracuse, on Aug. 6. The JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge comprises 20 events in 15 cities and four countries. EMA has offices in Buf falo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Portsmouth, N.H., and Atlanta.

The New York office of Lewis & Partners Advertising was awarded S.Pellegrino's consumer public relations and events- sponsorship business. The S.Pellegrino sparkling-water brand is owned by the Perrier Group of America, which is based in Greenwich, Conn. LP, a food and beverage marketing-communications agency, also has an office in San Francisco.

NEW JERSEY

The SPI Group added two clients, The Middlesex County Economic Opportunities Corp. and the Rahway Valley Sewerage Au thority. The Fairfield-based public relations and online-marketing agency will create an awareness campaign for MCEOC's Community Action programs, such as Head Start/Childcare, Labor Apprenticeship and Basic Needs. That client is a North Bruns wick-based nonprofit organization. The Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority, a waste-water-treatment facility that ser vices 11 municipalities in central New Jersey, tapped the shop for marketing-communications support. The SPI Group will produce a quarterly newsletter and press materials for the Rahway-based client. The agency also has an office in Berea, Ohio.

Verona-based Block Advertising & Marketing's Food and Beverage division added Lotito Foods to its client roster. The Edison-based company imports various types of cheeses. The shop was hired to create a new corporate identity for Lotito Foods as part of a branding effort that will be rolled out in advertising and marketing mate rials aimed at food-service, retail and private-label companies. Block's Food and Beverage division will also handle national marketing duties for Rowland Coffee Roasters' Medaglia d'Oro Caffe Espresso brand. Work for this client, which will target Italian Americans, will first appear in the metropolitan New York market and then roll out nationally. Miami-based Rowland is a privately held coffee roaster; it recently acquired Medaglia d'Oro from The Tetley Group.

PENNSYLVANIA

Marmion Advertising was hired by Joy Mining Machinery to assist with the company's marketing and public relations initiatives. The Warrendale-based client develops, manufactures, distributes and services underground mining machinery for the extraction of coal and other materials. The advertising and marketing-communications agency is based in Pittsburgh.

Kelly Simmons, previously creative director at Philadelphia-based advertising agency goose, formed bubble, an advertising and film-content company that is also based in Philadelphia. The shop's first assignments include TV and radio spots, promos and other work for the Philadelphia Phillies, which she worked on while at goose, and directing TV spots for The Pennsylvania State University and EP Henry. Bubble also does radio commercials for EP Henry. Before her stint at goose, Simmons was creative director at Earle Palmer Brown in Philadelphia.