Black-eyed Pea Splits Big D

By Ellen Rooney Martin and Angela Dawson

CHICAGO–N.W. Ayer & Partners here is in line to win DenAmerica’s $5 million Black-eyed Pea restaurant account, according to sources. The move ends a four-year relationship between Black-eyed Pea and PGC Advertising in Dallas.

Ayer won a creative battle against at least three other unidentified agencies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona, according to sources. PGC was not invited to defend the account, according to sources.

PGC Advertising president Michael Cobb could not be reached for comment last week.

Barry Klein, the consultant on the review, said the company was going to mull the decision over the weekend and announce a new agency today. He would not elaborate. DenAmerica based in Scottsdale, Ariz., bought the Black-eyed Pea chain last June from Unigate Plc in Dallas.

PGC Advertising represented the account since 1993, when the former Black-eyed Pea owners moved the advertising business from the Dallas office of Black Rogers Sullivan Goodnight.

The move continues a spate of activity on PGC’s roster. Both Glamour Shots Fashion Photography studios and Sewell Motor Co. have left the shop in recent months, while Sara Lee brands Bryan, Mr. Turkey, Rudy’s Farm, R.B. Rice and State Fair Corn Dogs have come on board. Sara Lee last month launched a new product line called Today’s Selection in the home meal replacement category with spot TV and radio promotional efforts by PGC.

Black-eyed Pea has 100 company- owned and 30 franchise-controlled family casual dining restaurants.

Executives for N.W. Ayer & Partners and DenAmerica could not be reached for comment.

DenAmerica is a franchisee for 180 Denny’s and 70 other family-oriented operations like Kettle and Friendly restaurants.

–with Glen Fest

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