WASHINGTON: Edelman's advertising unit, Blue, has formed a strategic alliance with Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm (SRCP), a leading Republican political advertising agency. For Blue, the alliance offers an opportunity to tap into election-year spending by advocacy groups and other parties seeking influence. The two don't intend to collaborate on candidate or political work, but rather to focus on public affairs and referendum ad work.Edelman appointed veteran Republican media consultant Bob McKernan as Blue's president late last year and expanded Edelman vice chairman, international Mike Deaver's responsibilities to include the same role for the ad shop. Clients include the Association of American Railroads, the American Petroleum Institute, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the US Chamber of Commerce. SRCP has produced advertising for 12 current US senators, six governors, and a number of House members since 1993. Clients include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN); George Allen (R-VA), the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman; and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). "We are looking forward to combining our resources for campaigns that will benefit from blending political and consumer advertising expertise," both agencies said in a joint statement. "We believe this alliance will offer certain clients a breadth and depth of strategic and creative talent that will be unique in confronting political and issue-related challenges."