RIP David Martin

By Kiran Aditham Comment

We’re sure you’ve already heard the news today, but we’ll do our part, set the agenda aside for a sec and honor Martin Agency founder David Martin, who lost his battle with cancer and passed away at his Richmond, VA home yesterday at the age of 82. To rewind, Martin founded Martin & Woltz alongside partner George Woltz in July 1965 and four years later, co-created the breakthrough “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign that’s still recognized throughout today (tribute ad below).

Martin Agency chairman/CEO John B. Adams Jr. says in a statement, “Dave was the living embodiment of the classic, American entrepreneurial spirit. I had the great gift of seeing Dave and filming an interview with him recently for the agency archives. I asked him what wish he had for our employees today and for the people who will join our company in the years ahead. He said, ‘Be true to yourself. If you’re not true to yourself you have nothing.’ He urged Martin employees to continue to produce advertising, in all its forms, that is different, vibrant and better.”

During his career, the Richmond native was named Advertising Person of the Year by the Richmond Ad Club in 1969, was inducted into VCU’s Mass Communications Hall of Fame in 1987 and served as Eastern region governor/board member for the 4As. After retiring from Martin Agency in 1989,went on to found, in succession, two other marketing firms in Richmond.