Column: Cruise lines' ban on keyword buys helps level playing field

02/8/2010 | Travel Weekly

Charlie Funk, owner of Just Cruisin' Plus in Nashville, Tenn., along with Sherrie Funk, explains the effects of a move by cruise lines to prohibit third parties, including travel agencies, from buying its trademarked words and phrases without permission. "It means the cruise lines just cut their annual advertising expense by hundreds of thousands of dollars," Funk writes. "It means the cruise lines are working harder than ever to drive consumers to buy from them direct. It means the retail distribution system has been warned to get busy with becoming a better, more service-focused businesses."

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