Carnival Cruise Lines still considering social-media policy changesNewsBy Dennis Schaal | January 8, 2010Share This article was originally published on More than three weeks after dropping a controversial social media policy for 2010 and stating that it likely would move "very quickly" on drafting changes, Carnival Cruise Lines still has not published a social media policy for 2010.A CCL spokeswoman says "it's still being looked at right now with no specific timeline."The initial 2010 policy, which was Carnival's first attempt at addressing social media, kicked off a storm of criticism because it would have prohibited the cruise line's travel agency partners from using any CCL trademarks on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or any blog.CCL conceded that it had over-reached in trying to protect the line's trademarks and would amend the policy.In the interim, on Dec. 15, CCL eliminated most references to social media in the 13-page 2010 travel agency policy [pdf] it posted online, and in essence doesn't have a policy at this juncture.The social media policy was part of a much broader attempt by CCL to protect its trademarks and perhaps to lower its online marketing costs.That's because Carnival also barred travel agency partners from bidding on its trademarks on major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.Here are CCL's trademarks, according to its travel agency policy:“Carnival”, “Carnival Cruise Lines”, “Carnival Cruises”, “CCL”, “Today‟s Carnival”, “Carnival's Got the Fun!”, “Your Kind of Fun”, “Camp Carnival” and its design, the Reverse-C Logo or Crescent design, the Ship Funnel design, “Fun Ship”, “the Fun Ships”, “The World‟s Most Popular Cruise Line”, “Currents”, “Carnival Comfort Bed”, “Carnival Concierge Club”, “Fun OnLine”, “Club Carnival”, “Fly Aweigh”, “FunPass”, “The Vacation People”, “What's Your Idea of Fun?”, Carnival‟s ships names (Carnival Destiny, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Valor, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Elation, Carnival Victory, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic), “Spa Carnival”, “Carnival Capers”, “Ocean Players Club” and design, “Skipper‟s Club”, “The Carnival Vacation Store”, “Carnival‟s Vacation Guarantee”, “Carnival‟s Cruise Vacation Protection Plan”, “Fun Vision”, “FunShipPay”, “Sail & Sign”, “Club 02”, “Total Choice Dining” and “Fun Points.”CCL hasn't responded to several requests I've made to discuss the status of its policy on travel agency partners and sponsored links and how it all is working out in practice.Its sponsored link bidding policy also has certain prohibitions when it comes to travel agency partners bidding on generic keywords.The CCL policy states, in part:"Generic Keywords: When purchasing generic cruise-related keywords (such as “cruise” or “ship” or “cruise deals”) or when purchasing destination or port keywords for any port or destination serviced by Carnival (such as “Caribbean” or “Mexico” or “Miami”) on broad match keyword terms programs, the bidding Travel Agency must ensure that its ads do not appear for consumer searches which include Carnival‟s Property or Typos in combination with the generic keywords. This is inclusive of all campaigns (such as geo-targeting and day-parting). Travel Agency must list the following elements of Carnival‟s Property as negative keywords (at the level in search engines that encompasses negative matching for all campaigns). Note that exact negative setting is not sufficient:i. Carnival ii. www.Carnival iii. Carnival.com iv. www.CarnivalCruise.com v. CCL vi. Carnival2010 vii. Carnival2011 viii. Carnival2012For example, it would be a violation of this Policy if a consumer search using a keyword phrase such as “Carnival Miami cruises” triggers Travel Agency ad to appear if “Miami cruises” was originally bid by Travel Agency without the negative keyword of 'Carnival.'”Meanwhile, CCL's first social media policy apparently is in limbo.After getting burned on its first attempt, perhaps Carnival will go without a social media policy for 2010.After all, many cruise lines and travel firms don't have articulated social media policies at all.