MCBD secures pounds 6.5m P&O creative business

P&O Cruises has picked Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy to handle

creative work on its pounds 6.5 million account as it attempts to build

on its leading position in one of the fastest growing sectors of the

holiday market.

The decision renders P&O the biggest client at MCBD, which won the

business in competition with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, its first pitch

against the agency from which its founding partners, including Jeremy

Miles, broke away.

P&O was cut loose by Leo Burnett after only eight months because of

moves by the agency's Walt Disney client into the holiday cruise market.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Publicis also contested the business.

MCBD's appointment is the precursor to an expected TV and poster

campaign breaking in the autumn. Media buying remains with Starcom

Motive, which was appointed to the business in last June.

The advertising is likely to exploit research showing that, of the six

million ABCl adults in Britain, 1.5 million have said they are 'fairly

likely' to go on a cruise.

The new agency's work will strike a balance between the need to attract

younger customers without alienating P&O's core market of people aged 45

and over.

A 15 per cent annual growth has turned cruising into one of the most

rapidly expanding sectors of the holiday market.

P&O, the market leader, operates four ships, including the Oriana and

the Aurora. The assignment will also include P&O's Princess Cruises

brand although this is primarily aimed at the US market and has never

been advertised heavily in the UK.

Agencies competing for the business have been briefed to convert more

waverers into firm customers. The new advertising is expected to focus

on the shipboard experience of cruising and help overcome the fear some

would-be customers might have of feeling 'trapped' on a ship.