We Hear: Norwegian Cruise Lines Review Down to Three

By Patrick Coffee 

Last month, Norwegian Cruise Lines followed its competitor Royal Caribbean in announcing a review of both its creative and media agencies. As our colleague Andrew McMains put it, “it’s raining cruise line searches.

When the review was first announced, we knew only that it followed the resignation of Norwegian’s president/ascension of his successor Andy Stuart in March and that Martin would not defend its business on the creative side. Now we hear that, like Royal Caribbean, this review is nearing its end.

A source tells us that three finalists made their respective pitches last week in the client’s headquarters of Miami and that the trio will be reduced to a duo this week.

According to multiple sources, these three shops are still in the running:

  • CP+B
  • TBWA\Chiat\Day
  • R&R Partners

This lineup would make sense: CP+B has a major office in Miami and R&R (the shop behind the “What Happens Here” tagline) specializes in travel. TBWA’s recent Airbnb win would not conflict directly with Norwegian because the two companies serve very different audiences.

But no one will confirm this claim, so for now it remains a rumor. Whichever shop wins will deal with a slightly diminished client; Norwegian’s media spend dropped from $45M to $33M last year.

We expect announcements regarding both of these reviews by the end of the month.