Celebrity May Consolidate $20-30 Mil. Account

Celebrity Cruises’ review of its estimated $20-30 million account may have been triggered by an effort to consolidate its marketing business at one agency.

The Miami-based cruise line, rocked like other travel and tourism packagers by cancellations and a decline in bookings in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will issue an RFP later this month.

“We will conduct an agency review before year’s end,” said Elizabeth Jakeway, Celebrity’s manager of corporate communications.

Atlanta-based WestWayne, which won the account from Saatchi & Saatchi in New York in 1999, will defend, according to agency president Jeff Johnson. “Celebrity wants to take a look at all the available marketing resources, from direct to public relations to media buying to interactive,” he said. “A consolidation may be in the works.”

WestWayne’s Miami office handles advertising, collateral and direct marketing duties for Celebrity, a division of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Young & Rubicam’s The Media Edge in New York handles media planning and buying. Yamamoto Moss in Minneapolis is the cruise line’s interactive agency.

Direct marketing capabilities will be a critical factor in the review, sources said.

Spending declined from $30 million in 1999 to a little more than $20 million in 2000. The client spent about $15 million on media from January through July of this year, according to CMR.

Ares Michaelides, the former Celebrity svp/finance who took over marketing responsibilities last spring, is the driving force behind the review, sources said.

Neither Michaelides nor director of marketing services Helen Burford returned calls by press time.

Together, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean operate 22 ships, with an additional seven under construction.

WestWayne’s most recent TV and print work for the client, tagged, “See the world revolving around you,” broke earlier this year.