Omnicom’s PHD has been selected as the new media agency for Carnival Cruise Lines, following a review in which incumbent Havas Media (formerly MPG) did not defend.
Other finalists in the review were Mediavest, Initiative and Zenith. Measured media spending on the Carnival brand last year totaled about $32 million, down from $51 million in 2011 and $77 million in 2010, according to Kantar.
Select Resources International, Santa Monica, managed the review process for Carnival, which is based in Doral, Fla. Havas corporate sibling Arnold Boston, which handles Carnival’s creative business, isn’t affected by the review.
Carnival Cruise Line’s parent company Carnival Corp. also owns Princess Cruises and Costas Cruises. When Carnival put the media business in review in May, the company said it hadn’t looked at agency options in years and needed a media partner that is “capable of effectively building and managing integrated plans across both traditional and digital media.”
Also playing into the search was negative publicity in the wake of last year’s Costa Concordia crash and this year’s Carnival Triumph Cruise where passengers were stuck at sea for days with sewage running down the ship’s walls.