What's on?

There's something new on TV this season: cruise line advertising. We think it's a great show.

As we reported in the news pages last week, the new spots introduced by several lines in recent months end a long dry spell during which images of cruise ships on TV tended to appear mainly in news broadcasts, and we all know what that means.

As usual, former Carnival Cruise Lines chief Bob Dickinson had a quote for that: "Any advertising is better than none." Of course, no cruise line has given up on all advertising, but the mix has been very light on TV in recent years, and that has always seemed to us to be a big gap for such a powerful medium.

A notable feature in the new ads are the references to travel agents in the closing tag lines, in which Celebrity, Princess and Carnival each remind viewers that they can "Contact your travel agent."

There was a time when agents took that tag line for granted. Then there was a time when you couldn't take it for granted that a supplier would include it. Agents don't always get top billing in these closing messages, but that's OK. They're there.

As Bob might say, any tag line is better than none.
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