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Celebrity Cruises Narrows Field

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Five finalists emerged last week in the review for Celebrity Cruises' estimated $20-30 million advertising account.

Contending are incumbent WestWayne in At lanta, Wunderman in New York, Digitas in Boston, DraftWorldwide in Chi cago and Rapp Collins in Dallas, sources said.

Direct marketing ex pertise will be critical to the decision, sources said. Final presentations, a creative assignment built around a predetermined positioning statement ("A touch above") created by Chicago brand-assessment consultancy The Helios Group, are under way. A decision is expected later this month.

The review was triggered in late September primarily by the client's desire "to consolidate all marketing functions within a single agency," said WestWayne president Jeff Johnson.

WestWayne's Miami office handles advertising, collateral and direct marketing. The Media Edge in New York does media planning and buying. Yamamoto Moss, Minnea polis, handles interactive. The winning agency will handle all these functions under one roof.

The client spent about $20 million in 2000, according to CMR; spending this year topped $15 million by July 1.

Also driving the search, sources said, is a proposed merger of P&O Princess Cruises and Celebrity parent Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the No. 2 and No. 3 packagers, respectively, behind Carnival. Another factor is a management shift at Royal Car ibbean that elevated Jack Williams to president of the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lines, and landed Ares Michaelides, formerly svp/finance, in the senior marketing slot. Michaelides, who was traveling, did not return calls.