Kurt Ritter of GM to Oversee Account Team

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DETROIT ( -- Kurt Ritter, a veteran of General Motors Corp., will join Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., a GM spokesman said.

Mr. Ritter will take the new post of CEO for the Toyota brand's North American account, overseeing Saatchi's key management team at its Torrance, Calif., office and talk strategy with top executives of Toyota Motor Sales USA, executives close to the matter said.

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Toyota Motor Sales USA's Toyota division is a major Saatchi client in the U.S. and the agency handles the account in several dozen markets around the world.

Mr. Ritter couldn't be reached for comment. Saatchi didn't return calls by press time.

Mr. Ritter will report directly to Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi Worldwide, and manage the key players on Toyota's North American account. One of those executives will include Rich Anderman, who is joining Saatchi from Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty, New York, where he oversaw the Mercedes-Benz USA regional dealer accounts.

Mr. Ritter was unhappy in his new position of general manager of GM's new Buick-Pontiac-GMC division, formed in early March, the executives said. Before that, he was general marketing manager of GM's Chevrolet division, where he had worked since 1971.

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