BRADLEY'S PRESIDENTIAL BID SPLITS DEMOCRATIC AD SHOP: DUNN LEAVES SQUIRE KNAPP TEMPORARILY TO AVOID CONFLICT WITH GORE WORK

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A year before the first presidential primary, the candidacy of former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley has caused a split at one of Washington's top political ad firms.

Bob Squier, principal of Squier Knapp Ochs Dunn, is expected to handle the campaign of Vice President Al Gore; Messrs. Gore and Squier are close friends, and the latter oversaw Bill Clinton's campaign advertising. But Squier Knapp partner Anita Dunn is taking a leave of absence from the agency to oversee communications for Mr. Bradley's campaign.

"I've taken a temporary leave of absence until our conflict [between rival Democratic candidates] is resolved," said Ms. Dunn.

The primary season kicks off in February 2000 with the Iowa caucuses, and the compressed primary schedule should make party candidates clear by the end of March.

EARLIER WORK

An aide to Mr. Bradley during his Senate years, Ms. Dunn last year handled campaigns for Sens. John Breaux (D., La.) and Bob Graham (D., Fla.), in addition to ads for the Washington State Democratic Party and the National Abortion Rights League.

For Mr. Bradley's campaign, Ms. Dunn will supervise all communications, including the Madison Avenue ad team headed by former Young & Rubicam Chairman Alex Kroll.

BRADLEY'S TEAM

The Bradley ad team grew to nine last week as Kevin O'Neill, president and chief creative officer of Warwick Baker O'Neill, joined Mike Becker, who heads Becker Communications, Short Hills, N.J.; Linda Kaplan Thaler of Kaplan Thaler Group, New York; and Richard Kirshenbaum of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, also New York.

Mr. O'Neill called Mr. Bradley the "class of the Democratic field and the national field with a reservoir of intellect and integrity uniquely suited to

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