Qdoba Moves to Amalgamated

BOSTON Qdoba Mexican Grill has selected independent Amalgamated, New York, as its lead creative agency following a review.

Qdoba said Taxi in New York was the runner-up. Joanne Davis Consulting led the review process.

“We could not be more excited about working with Qdoba,” said Charles Rosen, founding partner of Amalgamated. “Not only is the brand poised for explosive growth, but the people in the organization are simply awesome. We are going to do amazing work together.”

The Denver-based client spent $2.5 million last year on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Media spending through May ’08 was almost $1.5 million. Thayer Media in Denver handles buying chores on the business.

Jack in the Box Inc.-owned Qdoba, which maintains 400 restaurants in 39 states, has worked with Denver shop Morey Evans Advertising on creative for three years.

“Amalgamated was selected based on its superior insights into our brand and business as well as their vision and initial creative ideas,” said Karen Guido, the client’s vp, marketing.

Amalgamated also works for Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, Big Lots and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, among others.

Qdoba recently launched a “Love ya back” promotion, allowing customers to purchase five entrees to receive one free entree. Qdoba’s in-store table displays, e-mail, radio and print advertising refer to the effort as a “burrito stimulus” package.