Ah, the Oscars: glitz, glamour, and condoms. Reuters has reported that Oscar "losers" will receive an unofficial swag bag from the marketing firm Distinctive Assets. The luxurious gifts, valued at $45,000, include trips to Australia, Hawaii and Mexico, vaguely insulting things like personal training sessions and "portion-controlled" dinnerware, and party supplies like tequila and, yes, condoms. (You can see founder Distinctive Assets talk about the bag here.)
Now, mind you, as Reuters points out, that Academy itself stopped giving swag to presenters in 2007 following the IRS' move to tax swag as income. As the Los Angeles Times wrote that year, even though some "predicted the practice would disappear," that did not happen. (Of course, the official Oscar runner-up prize? A sweatshirt.)
Distinctive Assets has long been in this game: they've been handing out the bags, which are delivered to the homes of nominees who don't win (or via publicist for some morning-after cheer), for 11 years now. This year they seem to be downgrading a little. Time reported last year that the bag was worth $62,023.26. Though, as Kelly Phillips Erb wrote in Forbes that same year, not all celebrities are that greedy. Some actually donate their gifts to charity. But will they hand back the condoms?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.