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DraftDirect Seeks Agency Acquisitions
NEW YORK-DraftDirect Worldwide, backed by parent Interpublic Group of Cos., is in discussions to buy Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners in New York, said sources. A representative for the Chicago-based direct marketing shop, with $1 billion in worldwide billings, said, "We're planning several acquisitions both in the U.S. and overseas." She would not comment on any specific deals. Adler president Larry Adler declined comment.

Kirshenbaum Opens Second Shop in S.F.
NEW YORK-Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners has launched a new West Coast office in the San Francisco area designed, initially, to service Mother's Cookies, a division of Specialty Foods Corp. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West will operate separately from Montgomery North, which KB&P opened last month to handle the Charles Schwab account. Nigel Carr, a partner, will lead KB&P West's staff of five people as general manager. He will also retain his title as director of brand planning for the New York office for the time being.

U.S. Census Bureau Draws Up Contenders List
NEW YORK-The U.S. Census Bureau has selected the contenders for its Census 2000 advertising campaign. Phil Sparks, associate director of communications for the Suitland, Md.-based government outfit, confirmed that "vendors within a competitive range have been identified." Sparks would not divulge the identities or even the number of agencies invited to pitch the business. Sources said at least three New York shops, Bates USA, Grey Advertising and Young & Rubicam, are participating. Agencies referred calls to the client. Pending congressional approval, $100 million will be devoted to the effort. A decision is expected at the end of October.

Six Flags Considers Consolidation
DALLAS-Six Flags Theme Parks is looking to consolidate creative and media buying duties for its $40-45 million account at a single agency, said sources. The Parsippany, N.J.-based company has already contacted several shops, including Six Flags media agency McCann-Erickson USA, sources said. New vice president of marketing Steve
Savino is leading the review. McCann handles all media buying through several of its offices. Creative is handled primarily in-house. McCann officials declined comment; Six Flags representatives could not be reached.

Mercedes-Benz to Launch New 'Fall in Love Ads'
NEW YORK-Mercedes-Benz of North America will launch in September what the company is calling its largest retail ad campaign, which is intended to attract a million people to its 320 dealerships during the fourth quarter. TV, print and radio ads by Lowe & Partners/SMS here, as well as local dealer ads, will be themed "Fall in Love." Sources said Mercedes' national budget will be around 30 percent higher for the new model year than the $65 million it spent last year, owing to its new product assault, especially its M-Class sport utility.