Cruise trade association reviews PR business

The review comes as the cruise industry faces scrutiny for safety concerns among passengers.

ARLINGTON, VA: Cruise Lines International Association, the largest trade organization for the cruise industry in the world, is reviewing its PR business.

The organization is in the "early stage of evaluating options," said Mike McGarry, SVP of public affairs at CLIA.

Finn Partners is the incumbent on the account, McGarry confirmed. He declined to offer further information on the review.

Finn Partners, through its acquisition of M. Silver Associates, handles the trade PR portion of the business, according to Finn Partners senior managing partner Richard Funness. Further information about Finn Partners’ involvement in the review was not disclosed.

Last month, the association brought on Elinore Boeke and Amanda Deatherage as director and manager of public affairs, respectively. McGarry joined CLIA in 2012 after serving as managing partner at R2M Solutions.  

In recent months, multiple reports have surfaced about the large number of sexual assaults, as well as other passenger safety concerns, on cruises. The US Senate held a committee hearing in July that focused on the need for additional consumer protection for cruise passengers. During the hearing, four witnesses spoke about tragic events they experienced while on a cruise, such as a sexual assault and a fire.

At the time, CLIA reportedly said in a statement that the hearing "presented a distorted picture of an industry that has an exceptional guest care and safety record."

CLIA, which merged with the International Council of Cruise Lines in 2006, represents the cruise industry in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

This story was updated on August 8 with comment from Finn Partners.

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