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R.L. Polk & Co., a marketing information services company based in Detroit, is appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court an appellate court decision giving the state authority to stop providing motor-vehicle records information for commercial solicitation. The sale of vehicle registration data for commercial purposes has been approved by the U.S. Congress and sanctioned by federal law, but Illinois Secretary of State George Ryan stopped selling Illinois motor-vehicle records in January 1997.

Avis Rent A Car selected Draft Worldwide, New York, as its agency of record for loyalty marketing, to include strategic planning, research, database consulting, modeling and creative support. Avis previously handled most of the work in-house. The other finalist for the No. 2 car rental company's account was Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, Boston. Separately, Draft posted another win as the U.S. Postal Service consolidated its stamp service business account at the direct agency's Chicago office. The account had been split between Draft and FCB Direct, New York.

Sampling Corp. of America, Glenview, Ill., will expand its product sampling services by entering the Canadian market for outsourced services. Separately, the subsidiary of Snyder Communications will offer services to companies in the U.S. to reach the African-American family market. Both programs are in test stages right now, with official rollout in early 1999. Sampling Corp. clients include General Mills, Kellogg Co., Procter & Gamble Co., Quaker Oats Co., and Unilever.

May & Speh, Downers Grove, Ill., acquired Sigma Marketing Group, a database marketing company in Rochester, N.Y. Michael J. Loeffler, exec VP-direct marketing services at May & Speh, said that "Sigma's ability to create, conduct and analyze database marketing programs will be an important asset for May & Speh as we develop industry-specific database marketing solutions." About 65% of Sigma's $8 million in 1997 revenue was derived from credit card, retail banking, insurance and investment products businesses. May & Speh will pay Sigma about $20 million in cash, plus some May & Speh stock. Sigma becomes part of May & Speh's direct marketing services business and will be overseen by current management. The acquisition follows May & Speh's recent decision to merge with Acxiom Corp. (AA, June 1).

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