Barber Martin Claims Anti-Tobacco Account

ATLANTA Barber Martin Advertising said it has been tapped by the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation to handle its $4 million advertising account.

The Richmond, Va., shop was chosen following a review that included 13 undisclosed agencies. BMA said it would develop statewide marketing initiatives for the locally based client that target Virginia youth, ages 10-17.

Jim Gentry, creative director at BMA, said that during the presentation he drank “frog juice” to visualize a concept that would extend VTSF’s “You’d think” anti-tobacco campaign.

“I’m always eager to personify our creative ideas for clients and prospects,” Gentry said. “I’ve done some out-of-the-box things during new business pitches, but never did I think I would chug a gallon of frog juice.”

Don Morgan, agency president, said that while Gentry’s stunt may have added some shock value to his presentation, BMA was chosen because of its statewide marketing expertise and insight on the youth market.

Danny Saggese, marketing coordinator for the VTSF, agreed, saying that the organization looks forward to working with the agency and incorporating its marketing expertise, creative, buying power and strategic planning into an already successful campaign.

The Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation in 1999 to finance youth tobacco use prevention programs and for research conducted at state universities. The foundation receives approximately $13 million annually, or 10 percent of the state’s annual payments from the 1998 national tobacco settlement, according to BMA.

BMA’s campaign will include television and radio advertising that will break later this year, the shop said.