Bay State smoke-OUT

Arnold, as expected, was retained last week for the $8-14 million advertising account of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Program.

The Boston agency beat Modernista! and Allen & Gerritsen, the only other agencies that submitted written applications to pitch the high-profile business.

Arnold initially picked up the account three years ago when it acquired crosstown shop Houston Herstek Favat. Though state law mandates that the account be periodically reviewed, most regional players took a pass, citing Arnold’s track record of award-winning DPH campaigns and its status as agency for the American Legacy Foundation’s national anti-smoking program.

A&G, Watertown, Mass., was invited to make an oral presentation to the DPH but fell short.

Modernista!, the Boston agency co-founded by former Arnold creative director Lance Jensen, submitted written materials more than a month ago but didn’t hear from the DPH until last week, when it received a letter stating it had not been selected, said agency managing director Matt Lindley. The shop’s written application was deemed lacking by the selection committee, a DPH representative said.