Goodby Silverstein Wins Princess Cruises

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Goodby Silverstein & Partners is back in the cruise business. The Omnicom shop, which previously worked on Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Viking and Crystal Cruises, has landed Princess Cruises, after a review. There was no incumbent; the company has been producing its marketing communications in-house.

In 2012, Princess spent $476,431 on measured media, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include digital spending.

The move follows Princess’ hire, in June, of Gordon Ho as svp of marketing. An 18-year veteran of the Walt Disney Co., he took over from David deMerlier who was named vp of international marketing and reports to Ho.

In recent years, deMerlier focused more heavily on Internet-driven marketing. In 2009, for instance, he hired Ignited, El Segundo, as the cruise line’s lead agency. While the move was partly an economic decision, it was also driven by the Web research habits of cruise consumers. Ho has tasked GSP with developing an integrated brand campaign, which will debut early next year.

The hire comes as Princess’ parent Carnival Corp. & PLC deals with negative PR in the wake of the Costa Concordia Italian cruise crash and passenger deaths last year and, in February, the calamitous Carnival Triumph engine fire where passengers were stuck at sea with power outages, overflowing toilets and food shortages.

In May, Carnival Cruise Lines launched a review to find a new agency to handle media planning and buying, which has been handled by Havas Media. The incumbent, formerly known as MPG, is not defending, and a decision is expected by the fall.