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Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, has takeover talk swirling around it three months after the demerger of Cordiant. Investment bankers were said to be trying to structure a merger or acquisition, although management denied it was fielding offers.

Hallmark Cards has Y&R Advertising, New York, and DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, working on brand consulting projects. Hallmark's AOR is Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.

Steve Blamer, 41, to managing director, Grey Advertising, London, from the same position at Grey in Los Angeles. He succeeds Nigel Sharrocks, who quit in September.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, said it is selling its share of London-based worldwide Adidas agency Leagas Delaney to its management for $6.7 million.

Gerald Giaquinta to the new post of VP-marketing Americas at Baan Co., Menlo Park, Calif., from director of marketing communications, Silicon Graphics, Mountain View, Calif.

NetGrocer is contacting agencies for a $30 million to $40 million brand and consumer ad effort over the next three years for the online seller of non-perishable items.

Legoland to Asher & Partners, Los Angeles, for the $10 million account to launch its first U.S. amusement park, set to open March 1999 in San Diego.

And 1 has split with the Brownstein Group, Philadelphia. It's unknown if a new agency will be sought for its $2 million to $5 million basketball shoes and apparel account.

American Standard Cos. to the Richards Group, Dallas, from Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, for its estimated $4 million plumbing products account.

Kellogg Co. will activate its newly inked National Basketball Association sponsorship with an NBA All-Star-themed push for Pop Tarts in late April. Kellogg's will support the product with a TV spot from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, to air during NBA broadcasts in May.

Reader's Digest Association laid off about 70 employees in another round of cuts March 26 in what a spokeswoman called ``Phase 2 of what we announced last fall,'' when October earnings reports caused the beleaguered publishing giant to announce it would eliminate redundancies in staffing. The spokeswoman said the number of employees let go was ``under 70'' and were made in departments across the organization.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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