Norwegian Cruise Line Follows Royal Caribbean Into the Review Circuit

Incumbent Martin is not participating

Another cruise line account is up for grabs: Norwegian Cruise Line is reviewing its creative and media business, which The Martin Agency has handled since 2011.

The assignment spans traditional and digital ads and represents about $5 million in revenue. The brand's media spending was $33 million last year, down from about $45 million in 2013, according to Kantar Media.

The review comes amid a search by competitor Royal Caribbean and as the cruise industry grapples with image problems resulting from high-profile accidents and nasty outbreaks of norovirus. Norwegian, like Royal Caribbean, also has made recent changes in its top management. Last month Andy Stuart became president and COO following the resignation of Drew Madsen. Stuart has been with the company since 1988, most recently as evp of sales.

Four years ago, Norwegian used a consultant for its search. This time, however, the Miami-based company is running the process itself, with a decision expected in late May.

Norwegian has circulated a request for proposals that's due back this week, according to a source. A NCL rep said in a statement: "While The Martin Agency has chosen not to participate in the review process, Norwegian thanks the company for their many contributions and looks ahead to beginning the search for a new agency partner."

In the 2011 search, the finalists were Martin, McCann-Erickson, Mullen, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and then incumbent GSD&M.

Norwegian continues to use the "Cruise Like a Norwegian" campaign that Martin unveiled four years ago.

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