OMD loses Royal Caribbean account to AMS Media Group

Royal Caribbean International has handed the media planning and buying business for its &£2m advertising account to AMS Media Group.

The agency was handed the business without a pitch, after a review overseen by marketing director for the UK and Europe Gary West. The account was previously with OMD UK, which was awarded the business in October last year.

AMS already handles media for sister cruise brand Celebrity Cruises.

West stepped in to oversee a pitch for Royal Caribbean’s advertising business half way through the process last October (MW October 24, 2002) when director of sales, marketing and operations Peter Williams quit following a company restructure. Positive Thinking won the account.

The cruise industry, like other sectors of the holiday market, has been hit by nervousness in the North American market, owing to the war in Iraq and the Sars virus. As a result, Royal Caribbean introduced a price-cutting campaign earlier this year to target first-time passengers from the UK and Europe, discounting up to &£100 per person.

This has resulted in record UK sales – up 27 per cent for the year to August compared with the same period in 2002. Sales from the UK account for about three per cent of the cruise line’s overall sales.

Royal Caribbean will increase its capacity in Europe from five to six ships next year by adding a third liner under the upmarket Celebrity Cruises brand.

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