Three Florida agencies are among the contenders vying for the estimated $11 million global advertising account of Cunard Line.
Bates USA in New York recently resigned the account.
Sources said the luxury cruise line has contacted five shops: Ryder & Schild and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, both in Miami; Paradigm Communications in Tampa, Fla.; and M&C Saatchi and Black Ink (the business-to-business unit of Wells BDDP), both New York. Peter Bates, Cunard's executive vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed the review. All agencies declined comment.
The review comes at a time of flux for Cunard. The Norwegian owner, Kvaerner, reportedly wants to sell the line, which has not been profitable in recent years. In December, Cunard hired a new ad director, Debra Gilbert, and relocated from New York to Miami as a cost-cutting measure.
Cunard will review credentials next week before narrowing to an unspecified number of finalists. Those shops will make presentations at the end of February, the client said, with a decision expected in March.
The client is said to be torn between selecting an international (such as M&C Saatchi) or a local shop.
Black Ink's Richard Dale used to head the account at Bates, whose most recent ads positioned the line as one that goes to unusual destinations. "Where else in the world" was the tag.
Ryder & Schild has significant category experience going back 15 years, having worked with Costa Cruises and Admiral Cruise Lines. It also did project work for Royal Caribbean.