Royal Caribbean Sets Field

NEW YORK As contenders prepare for final presentations next month, sources have identified the four media shops partnering with creative agencies to pitch Royal Caribbean’s $75 million ad account.

Omnicom’s PHD, Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest, IPG’s Initiative and WPP’s MindShare have teamed with holding company siblings TBWA\Chiat\Day, Saatchi & Saatchi, DraftFCB and JWT, respectively, sources said. yesterday identified the creative contenders.

Havas units Arnold (creative) and MPG (media), both in Boston, have handled the client’s business. Both are now out of contention, sources said.

Agency officials either declined comment or referred calls to the Miami-based client. A Royal Caribbean representative declined to provide any information about the review process.

The cruise line has scheduled final presentations for mid-November, with a decision by December, according to sources.

Cleveland-based Rojek Consulting Group is managing the search.

In confirming the review last month, client svp, marketing Alice Norsworthy attributed the move to “best practices,” adding that “our success in building our business and our brand is dependent on identifying the optimal resources aligned to meet our global marketing needs, and developing strong partner relationships and effective teaming models across all of our agency providers.”

In recent years, the cruise line’s TV spots have often featured the Iggy Pop tune “Lust for Life” as its soundtrack.

In January, Arnold lost Royal Caribbean sibling line Celebrity Cruises, which spends $30 million annually on ads, to Element 79 in Chicago, after a review. (MPG continues to handle Celebrity’s media chores, however.)