Carnival Searches for Media Agency

Incumbent Havas Media isn't defending

Carnival Cruise Lines is searching for a new agency for media planning and buying.

The incumbent, Havas Media (formerly MPG), is not defending.

In a statement, Carnival noted that the company hasn't review the business in years and needs an agency that's "capable of effectively building and managing integrated plans across both traditional and digital media."

Arnold in Boston handles Carnival's creative business and isn't affected by the review. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process for Carnival, which is based in Doral, Fla.

Carnival plans the review process will continue through the end of the summer, and expects to make a decision by fall.

Media spending on the Carnival brand totaled about $32 million last year, down from $51 million in 2011 and $77 million in 2010, according to Kantar. Parent company Carnival Corp. also owns Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises.

The corporation has suffered following a series of real and public relations disasters, including last year's Costa Concordia crash and this year's Carnival Triumph cruise, which made news after passengers were stuck at sea for days with sewage running down the ship’s walls.

The cruise industry more broadly has faced image hurdles of late, with a Royal Caribbean cruise this week returning to port early after a fire broke out on board, and vacationers aboard a Royal Caribbean line in March catching norovirus.