Carnival Eyes 7 in $70 Mil.+ Pitch

NEW YORK Carnival Cruise Lines has selected seven creative agencies to visit in its U.S. marketing services review, said Ark Advisors, the consultancy managing the search.

Ark here identified the shops as Havas units Arnold in Boston and Euro RSCG in New York; MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York; Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB in Chicago and McCann Erickson and Deutsch, both in New York; and Omnicom Group’s BBDO in New York.

Client executives will visit the shops in mid-April before selecting a handful of finalists. Carnival, whose major media spending ranges between $70 million and $80 million annually, hopes to conclude its review by the end of May.

The Miami-based client is looking to consolidate creative and media duties at a single team. As such, creative agencies that don’t have media or interactive departments are partnering with other shops.

The semifinalists emerged after 13 agencies filled out RFPs, including the New York and Miami offices of Omnicom’s DDB, which pitched on behalf of sister shop and lead incumbent CooperDDB in Coral Gables, Fla.

CooperDDB handles traditional ads, media duties and some direct marketing tasks, while Avenue A/Razorfish in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is responsible for interactive duties. Carnival also handles some direct marketing in-house.

The other shops that did not advance were WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam, Grey and Ogilvy & Mather, all in New York; Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in New York; and Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty here.