Carnival selects Arnold/MPG as AOR

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Carnival Cruise Lines has selected Arnold/MPG as its new agency of record.

“It's an amazing organization and a terrific group of executives and a really strong marketing team, so we're really excited about the future,” said Pam Hamlin, president of Arnold Boston. “The nature of our relationship is a fully integrated relationship — from broad-based advertising all the way through to their loyalty marketing initiatives.”

According to Carnival, Arnold will work with the cruise line's in-house advertising and marketing departments on its print, broadcast, design, direct marketing and digital media programs.

Cooper DDB, Coral Gables, FL, previously held the account. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, ad spend by the Carnival Cruise Lines brand was $66.8 million in 2007.

The request for proposal process, conducted by Carnival and assisted by New York-based Ark Advisors, took about five months starting when the cruise line announced the review, Hamlin said. As the process went on, the field was reduced to 13 agencies. Final presentations by the three remaining agencies took place at the end of May in Miami, she said. “We were notified on Friday evening,” she said.

Although Hamlin declined to discuss future plans and strategies, she said that based on her previous experience in the category, a “one-to-one marketing program is a critical element in the overall marketing plan for Carnival and it will continue as such.

“It's all about prospecting for your best guests and continuing to build a relationship with your best guests whether that's hard mail or online,” she continued.

Carnival, which is based in Miami, did not respond to a request for comment by press time. However, in a statement, Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival's EVP of marketing and guest experience, said, “Carnival has a number of exciting projects in the works right now and Arnold presented some highly creative and innovative ideas that truly captured the essence of our brand.”

According to the company Web site, Carnival has 22 ships which cruise in the following areas: Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, Greek Isles and South America. The company was founded in 1972.

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