Public confusion between P&O Ferries and P&O Cruises ‘turned from a PR challenge to a bit of an opportunity’, according to the cruise line’s president Paul Ludlow.
Anger against the ferry company – part of DP World – after it sacked 800 workers without notice caused something of a social media backlash for P&O Cruises, even though it is owned by Carnival Corporation. The similar names are a historical hangover from the time when the two shipping firms were part of the same group.
As misguided calls to boycott P&O Cruises grew, the Southampton-based line launched an advertising campaign including full-page adverts in the national press.
‘We went out there and reminded people that we were different and separate,’ Mr Ludlow told me at an event in London to promote new ship Arvia, which will spend its first season in the Caribbean.
‘But we also added to those adverts that we were a wonderful holiday choice. So I think what we did with the reach of that campaign was remind people that we offer fabulous cruises.’