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J.C. Penney Co. has begun a search for a new chief marketing officer following the announcement of the planned retirement of Gale Duff-Bloom.

Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, has increased its share in sibling shop Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, to a majority stake, executives at the agencies said.

Allied Domecq Spirits USA, Old Greenwich, Conn., is putting up for review its $15 million Sauza tequila account. The distiller is inviting incumbent Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, to pitch. .

Terry Balagia, 43, to executive creative director, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles, from executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto. He succeeds John Armistead, who left the company.

Mervyn's California has awarded an additional branding assignment to Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, after a review including undisclosed others. Martin/Williams will redevelop the retail chain's TV work; spending is estimated at $10 million.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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