Account Move Comes in Preparation for Brand Relaunch

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NEW YORK ( -- As it prepares for its brand relaunch next year, Norwegian Cruise Line has awarded its media buying and planning business to Omnicom Group’s GSD&M, Austin, Texas, its creative agency of record.
Norwegian Cruise Line, which previously awarded its creative advertising account to GSD&M, has now shifted its media account to the agency.

The move came without a review and follows GSD&M’s win of the cruise line’s branding duties earlier this year. The media account is now at independent JL Media, Union, N.J.

Spending increase
To support the brand overhaul, now set for the second quarter of 2006, NCL will complement its traditional trade and travel-agent marketing approach with a “dramatic increase” in consumer spending, according to Senior VP-Sales and Marketing Scott Rogers, who joined NCL from Procter & Gamble Co. in July.

“GSD&M has a strong media track record,” said Mr. Rogers. “Media and creative need to influence each other. With the relaunch we’re not working from a template. We’re starting from scratch.”

Fourth largest cruise line
For the first half of 2005, Norwegian was fourth in number of passengers, with just 8.8% of the North American market, according to U.S. Maritime Administration statistics. It trails Carnival Cruise Line (33.3% share), Royal Caribbean International (27%) and Princess Cruises (10.2%).

Mr. Rogers declined to say by how much media spending would increase. Last year, NCL spent about $21 million on measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

National broadcast buying will be handled out of GSD&M’s Chicago office, which also handles media for MasterCard and DreamWorks SKG.