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Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, New York, to Gotham, New York, from CPS Direct, Boston, for its estimated $10 million account.

Earth Inc., Framingham, Mass., to Pagano Schenck & Kay, Boston, to help relaunch its popular 1970s Earth Shoe in the fall. Ad budget is estimated at $1 million.

Omnicom Group direct marketing agency Team South, New York, will merge with sibling shop Merkley Newman Harty on April 1. The 60-person direct unit also will be renamed as part of the merger; the name will be announced soon. Team South, founded in 1995, has about $70 million in billings.

Pepsi-Cola Co., Purchase, N.Y., signed all-star center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. as an endorser. The Cincinnati Reds player will appear in TV spots and be involved with Pepsi's "Takin' It to the Field" youth baseball and softball programs. Earlier this month, Pepsi added another Major League Baseball star--Sammy Sosa--to its endorser roster.

Florence Babbit to senior VP, director of broadcast production, Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, from senior VP, director of broadcast production, FCB Worldwide, Chicago. She replaces Sam Walsh, who became general manager of Propaganda Films, Hollywood, last year.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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