For those who walk away disappointed from the Oscars ceremony on Sunday night, it has emerged that there will at least be the consolation of a goody bag, worth some $45,000.
US marketing firm Distinctive Assets will deliver them directly to the homes of Oscar contenders who are not lucky enough to carry off a statuette, even though the practice of officially handing out presents to Academy award nominees and presenters was stopped in 2007.
The gift packs will contain items including trips to Australia, Hawaii and Mexico, personal training sessions, condoms, a bottle of tequila, hand-illustrated tennis shoes, and "portion-controlled" dinnerware. A water filtration system, acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions are also included, as are a one-week stay at a health spa and a one-year membership to Heathrow airport's private VIP service. A professional circus class for losing nominees' children is also available.
The bags are not endorsed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Ampas stopped its own gift-giving six years ago after the US tax authorities demanded that the recipients declare them and pay tax on them. Distinctive Assets began its own service in 2003.
The Academy announced yesterday that it is giving its annual ceremony a branding makeover. Since its inception in 1928, the Oscars have been officially known by an annually numbered title: this year's would have been called the 85th Annual Academy Awards. However, the grandiose term has been quietly dropped, in favour of the more informal term "the Oscars" – hitherto the trademarked name for the gold-plated statuette itself.
"We're rebranding it," said Oscars show co-producer Neil Mero. "We're not calling it 'the 85th Annual Academy Awards', which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It's called 'the Oscars'." He added: "It'll be like the Grammys. The Grammys don't get a number, and neither will the Oscars," said co-producer Neil Mero.
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