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OMC Team Exits Cruise Line Pitch

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NEW YORK An Omnicom Group team led by TBWA\Chiat\Day here has exited Royal Caribbean's global marketing services review, three weeks before final presentations, confirmed Rojek Consulting Group, the consultancy managing the process.

TBWA\C\D had partnered with PHD and other sister shops to pitch creative and media duties and last month made it to the final round. The exit, which TBWA\C\D also confirmed but did not explain, leaves three contenders: a WPP Group team led by JWT and MindShare, a Publicis Groupe team led by Saatchi & Saatchi and MediaVest and an Interpublic Group team led by DraftFCB and Initiative.

The Miami-based client will not fill the opening and will move forward with the remaining contenders, according to Lorraine Rojek, president of Rojek Consulting Group in Cleveland.

On Friday afternoon, Rojek acknowledged that the TBWA\C\D team was "no longer under consideration" and described the decision as "mutual." Final pitches are slated for Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 and a decision is expected shortly thereafter.

The global creative chores include traditional advertising, digital marketing and public relations, Rojek said. Royal Caribbean is seeking a multi-disciplinary team of agencies under a single holding company to handle the business.

Global media spending was not available but in the U.S. alone last year, Royal Caribbean spent nearly $80 million in major measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The lead agencies domestically are Havas' Arnold (creative) and sibling MPG (media) Royal Caribbean employs a host of other creative and media shops in different regions around the world.

In a related development, Arnold is cutting 5 percent of its Boston headquarters staff, 25-30 employees, as it prepares to bid adieu to the business.

This story updates and replaces an item posted earlier today with Rojek's comments and additional information.