Virginia Win for Work

In its first pitch since merging with Just Partners in February, Work Inc. has won theVirginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation’s marketing account.

The Richmond, Va., shop outperformed the McLean, Va., unit of Arnold, which represents the American Legacy Foundation. The ALF is a national anti-smoking group which, with Miami’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky, produces the “Truth” campaign.

Other finalists for the $30 million contract were: Barber Martin Advertising, Edelmann Scott, Neathawk Dubuque, The Burford Co. and Siddall Mattus & Coughter, all in Richmond.

The win is subject to approval by the foundation’s board of directors, which is expected June 19.

“All the presentations were different, all intriguing,” said Clarence Carter, executive director of the foundation. “We’re very comfortable with our recommendation; they earned it.”

“This is a validation of the merger we just undertook,” said Don Just, Work’s chairman and chief executive officer, who, with chief creative officer and president Cabell Harris, led the pitch. “We brought together two groups of different cultures to work together smoothly for a terrific win.”

Virginia, which follows North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina in tobacco production, will target underage smokers.

“Tobacco is a legal crop that produces legal products that children should not use,” said Carter. “There is an advocacy group whose purpose is to end tobacco production; that’s not what we’re here for.”

Work’s initial campaign is expected to launch in January.