Five finalists emerged last week in the ongoing review for Celebrity Cruises' estimated $20-30 million marketing account.
Contending are in cumbent WestWayne in Atlanta, Wunderman in New York, Digitas in Boston, DraftWorldwide in Chicago and Rapp Collins in Dallas, according to sources.
Digitas is seeking to add its second note-worthy win in recent weeks. The shop was hired by Six Continents Hotels for relationship marketing, a $20 million assignment it is sharing with Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.
Direct marketing expertise will be critical to the decision, said sources. The client, hurt by cancellations and declining bookings, wants to speak directly with consumers.
Final presentations, built around a predetermined positioning statement ("A touch above"), are under way. A decision is expected later this month.
The review was triggered in late September primarily by a decision "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 is responsible for media planning and buying. Yamamoto Moss, Minneapolis, handles interactive work.
Also driving the review, sources said, is a proposed merger of P&O Princess Cruises and Celebrity parent Royal Caribbean, the No. 2 and No. 3 packagers, respectively, behind Carnival. Another factor is a management shift at Royal Caribbean that elevated Jack Williams to president of the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lines.