Costa Cruises announced that it will not renew its membership in CLIA, be coming the fourth cruise line to withdraw over the association's generic advertising. Princess, Royal Cruise Line, and RCCL announced their decisions not to renew earlier this year.
Paquet and Bahama Cruise Line are also reviewing their positions, according to spokespeople at both lines.
At Costa, the line is "putting all of its resources behind its 'Cruising Italian Style' campaign," said Howard Fine, president of the line. "It is paying off very well, and is our priority right now. We feel it is important for cruise lines to clearly identify themselves to the travel agents and consumers.
For Paquet and Bahama Cruise Line, the issue is a financial one.
"We have questions as to what the final campaign proposal consists of, and what effect it will have on our budget now that some of the lines have dropped out," said Ruth Devlin, vice president of marketing at Paquet. "However, we are in favor of the campaign, and are just awaiting answers to our questions."
According to Bahama Cruise Line's spokesman, "the participating costs have escalated sharply, to the point where they have become prohibitive." However, he said that no final decision concerning the line's membership had yet been made.
Despite the opposition, however, CLIA will kick off its million dollar generic campaign on March 1. The campaign will be test marketed in St. Louis and Kansas City; and will involve television, radio, outdoor signs and print advertising. The theme will be revealed in late February.