GM CEO to Handle Domestic Market

NEW YORK General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, in an effort to stem bad news and boost Wall Street confidence, will take over North American marketing responsibilities hitherto handled by vice chairman Bob Lutz and group vice president Gary Cowger. Lutz and Cowger will relinquish domestic duties to focus on global product development and labor responsibilities. The move comes after GM’s mid-March prediction that the company would lose $2 billion in negative cash flow this year.

Mercedes Halts ‘Smart’ Review

NEW YORK Mercedes-Benz said last week that it has indefinitely postponed the domestic debut of its Smart nameplate, and has scuttled the review for the brand’s ad account. Mercedes was expected to spend at least $20 million to introduce the brand, sources said. Independents DeVito/Verdi and StrawberryFrog in New York and Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco had been waiting for word on the review since February, when the client selected the shops as finalists.

Church & Dwight Goes to Maxus

NEW YORK Church & Dwight reversed a decision to award its $80 million media account to Interpublic Group start-up Frontier Communications, instead giving it to WPP Group’s Maxus, the client said. Church & Dwight chose IPG media network Universal McCann spinoff Frontier following a review in which Maxus also participated.