Carnival Taps Ark to Helm Review

NEW YORK Carnival Cruise Lines has hired Ark Advisors to manage its marketing services review, Carnival said today.

The New York office of Ark will handle the assignment, said a Carnival representative.

The review includes traditional creative and media duties, now handled by Omnicom Group’s CooperDDB in Coral Gables, Fla.; interactive duties at Avenue A/Razorfish in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and direct marketing duties handled by CooperDDB and in-house.

The Miami-based client will invite selected agencies to participate, including CooperDDB. Carnival hopes to complete the process by mid-May.

The company spent more than $67 million in major measured media on the brand in the first 11 months of 2007 and nearly $80 million in 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures exclude online spending.

Key decision makers in the review include Ruben Rodriguez, evp, marketing and guest experience and vp, marketing services Christine Arnholt. Rodriguez, a former partner and managing director at the Miami office of Boston Consulting Group, joined Carnival in October.

Carnival offers three- to 18-day cruises via a fleet of 22 ships that operate in the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, among other regions. The company plans to add three more ships by 2011. Other Carnival brands include Princess Cruise Line, Holland America and Seabourn.