Merkley Wins Dave & Buster’s

BOSTON Casual-dining chain Dave & Buster’s has tapped Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners in New York for creative chores following a review, according to Pile and Co., the consultancy that oversaw the process.

The client is based in Dallas and spends about $15 million annually in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Independent agency Slingshot in Dallas handled the business for two years but did not participate in the review.

Other contenders were independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., Omnicom’s Energy BBDO in Chicago and Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

Dave & Busters’ current positioning line is “Eat. Drink. Play,” which mirrors its high-tech sports-bar identity that includes high-definition plasma TVs and arcade games at some locations. Not surprisingly, its ad pitches to consumers have stressed themes of fun and entertainment, rather than pricing or menu selection.

The chain has about 30 locations, mainly in the Southeast and Southwest.