Were Cruise Ships For Hurricane Victims An Out-Of-The Box Ad Idea?

Ric Cooper is the President of Cooper DDB in Miami, whose longtime clients include Carnival Cruise Lines and the Florida Lottery. You don’t service clients like those without having a little political savvy.
Seems he may have had a role to play in getting Carnival ships rented to the government in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina–which turned out to be a $236 million contract. Now that’s a business-building marketing idea. The Galveston Daily News has more:

A top House Democrat released e-mails Tuesday detailing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s role in pushing a $236 million federal contract for Carnival Cruise Lines to house Hurricane Katrina victims.
In a letter, Rep. Henry Waxman of California called on Bush to explain his role in the award of the ”lucrative contract,” which was given to the Florida-based company without a full competitive bid process. The e-mails Waxman released were provided to Congress by Michael Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
According to Waxman, Bush forwarded to Brown, then the FEMA director, an e-mail from a Carnival advertising executive proposing that the company’s ships be used for housing two days after the Aug. 29 storm.
The Carnival official, Ric Cooper, has been a major political donor to the Florida and national Republican parties, including $65,000 to the state GOP in 2002, and $50,000 to the RNC in 2004, Waxman said.
Less than three hours later, Brown replied to Cooper, saying he thought it was a “great idea.”

Cooper is identified as a “Carnival official,” but I’m fairly certain he still runs their ad agency. In either case, advertising is a relationship-based business. Always remember that.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.