Accounts in Review: Suddenly, It’s Raining Cruise Line Searches

Agencies looking for a cruise line account suddenly have choices.

If Royal Caribbean isn't inviting enough, why not give Norwegian Cruise Line a go? And since they're in play at the same time, you may have to chose one or the other.

Norwegian is similar to Royal in two respects: scope (each encompasses both creative and media responsibilities) and timetable (each expects to complete its search next month). But Royal spends more than twice as much as Norwegian on media—$80 million compared to $35 million—and represents more in account revenue ($8 million versus $5 million). 

Another recent trend in searches? Roster shop efficiency battles. First, Wells Fargo consolidated its media business at OMD after pitting the shop against UM, and now, SC Johnson is mulling a consolidation of its global media buying at either Maxus, which now handles traditional media buying, and PHD (digital). In both cases, outsider shops were not invited.


Unilever: Global Media

Media spend: $5 billion
Incumbents: Mindshare, Initiative, PHD
Contenders: Incumbents, possibly others
Decision: December


SC Johnson: Global Media

Media spend: $1 billion
Incumbents: Maxus (traditional), PHD (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents
Completion: April



L’Oréal: Media

Media spend: $780 million
Incumbents: UM (traditional), DigitasLBi (digital)
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Completion: December



Hershey: Creative

Media spend: $650 million
Incumbents: Arnold (traditional), Havas Worldwide (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: April


Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas, led by FCB, Leo Burnett and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: May


Royal Caribbean: Creative

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: JWT
Contenders: Incumbent, undetermined others
Completion: May


Scotts Miracle-Gro: Media

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbents: MEC, Active International
Contenders: MEC, Horizon Media, Zenith Media, Mediahub, Havas Media
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: April


Norwegian Cruise Line: Creative, Media

Media spend: $35 million
Incumbent: The Martin Agency
Contenders: To be determined
Completion: May