There’s something to be said for doing things yourself.
After hiring a marketing firm to help out with assembling gift bags, the Academy Awards are suing Distinctive Assets for tarnishing their good name. It wasn’t the year’s worth of unlimited Audi car rentals or the lifetime supply of skin creams that ruffled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ feathers, but the incorporation of thousands of dollars’ worth of sex toys and vaporizers in their beloved gift bags, and the use of their name. As a result, the hashtag #OscarGiftBag has become a trending subject, and the Academy is not happy about it.
On Tuesday, the Academy went to federal court to sue Lash Fary, who represents the marketing company that specializes in product promotion through celebrity endorsement. The organization expressed concern over trademark infringement with the incorporation of gift bag slogans like, “Everyone Wins At The Oscars®! Nominee Gift Bags,”; and “Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bags in Honor of the Oscars®.”; However, the Academy claims they do not endorse these bags.
“Deeply concerned about the confusion Distinctive Assets was spreading, the Academy’s legal counsel wrote Distinctive Assets on or about February 17, 2015, to inform it that it “is critical that no one be confused into believing that your gift bags are associated with or have any connection with the Academy,'” says the suit.
“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.”; The complaint continues, “Press about the 2016 gift bags has focused on both the less-than-wholesome nature of some of the products contained in the bags, which purportedly include a $250 marijuana vaporizer, a $1,900 “vampire breast lift,’ skin treatments by Park Avenue plastic surgeons valued at more than $5,500, a $250 sex toy, and $275 Swiss-made toilet paper, and the unseemliness of giving such high value gifts, including trips costing tens of thousands of dollars, to an elite group of celebrities.”;
The Academy is currently asking to be compensated for the damage.