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Perhaps the WPP Group, which owns several of the city’s biggest lobbying shops, couldn’t think of a new firm in town to acquire, so it created one instead. WPP-owned Quinn Gillespie and Associates and Burson-Marsteller have pooled their resources to set up 360Advantage, an advocacy and advertising venture. [IMGCAP(1)]

Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, whose political advertising and consulting firm has long been housed with Quinn Gillespie, will run the operation and will draw on others from their sister companies such as Ed Gillespie, Jack Quinn and Charles Black of BKSH and Associates, another WPP entity.

Stevens and Schriefer previously worked on advertising and other components of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign last year.

Meanwhile … The technology association CapNet has tapped lobbyist and one-time Congressional aide Robb Watters to run its political action committee. Watters, who is president of the Madison Group, said, “I look forward to leading an aggressive fundraising campaign that will assist Members of Congress and Senators who are pro-technology.”

Tim Hugo recently left his post as CapNet president to focus on a lobbying career, and he has affiliated the Tim Hugo Group with the Madison Group.

— Kate Ackley

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