Academy Sues Marketers over Oscar Gift Bags
Published Feb 17, 2016There are plenty of annual traditions at each year's Oscar ceremony, from long, meandering speeches to the near guarantee that Leonardo DiCaprio will go home empty handed. Much to the Academy's chagrin, another tradition is the distribution of high-end Oscar gift bags.
The swag bags contain approximately $200,000 USD of goodies, from bougie face masks and makeup to dildos and (perhaps as a consolation prize for Leo) vapes.
Distinctive Assets, the company behind the goodie bags, actually has nothing to do with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. They've been warned against using the Oscar name in the past, and now they're getting sued by the Academy.
Last year, the Academy warned the marketing company that they weren't doing enough to differentiate themselves from the Oscars brand. The company has long used slogans like "Everyone Wins At The Oscars! Nominee Gift Bags" and "Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bags in Honor of the Oscars," and they've received a great deal of press in most major publications.
This year, the Academy decided that enough is enough. They've filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction and trebled profits and damages.
The lawsuit reads, "Distinctive Assets' continued use of the Academy's trademarks not only infringes the Academy's trademarks, but it is also likely to dilute the distinctiveness of the Academy's famous trademarks and tarnish their goodwill."
They named "the less-than-wholesome nature of some of the products contained in the bags" as a reason for their tarnished reputation. Among this year's items is something called a "vampire breast lift."
As Variety reports, an Academy spokesperson said, "Distinctive Assets has been falsely representing that its extravagant 'gift bags' [are] redistributed by the Academy, at its direction, or with its endorsement or approval. The Academy has no affiliation with Distinctive Assets. It does not hire Distinctive Assets, consult with it, or help it distribute gift bags. All reports of an 'official Oscar gift bag,' or a fight bag distributed at the Oscars containing the products Distinctive Assets promotes, are untrue."
In other words, there's a good chance that extravagant Oscar gift bags will be coming to an end this year. What will those poor celebs do now?