The IRS forced the Academy's hand and now there is no longer an official Oscar gift bag. But don't get all postal on the IRS because of it. It's actually a semi-good thing, because in our humble opinion, that gift bag, as wonderful as many of the items in it were, really was too much. Plain and simple, the Oscar gift bag, the gift bag by which all other gift bags are judged, made it very hard for other swag bags to get their due. The value of the aggregate official Oscar bag in years past topped $100,000 (check out some of the items from last year's official presenters bag) and as cool these items were, the bag was getting more attention than the Oscars. The Academy was simply thanking the presenters with these gift bags, but over the years the gift bag took on a life of its own and thus, caught the attention of the government, who really had nothing else to do but make a stink and remind Hollywood they have to pay taxes on these gifts.
So now there is no more official gift bag - not because the talent was unwilling to pay taxes on these items - but because the Academy decided it was in its best interest to focus on the show and not the swag. The celebs will still come to the show without the bags, albeit they'll be slightly disappointed with the thank you handshake from the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science instead of a trip.
Good news is that with the end of the mother of all swag bags, many other swag events have risen to take its place and celebrate the award shows. These events have no affiliation with the Academy (A.M.P.A.S) or the Oscars, but will be setting up shop this week all across Hollywood to invite the nominees, other celebs and media in to see the latest wares in technology, fashion, jewelry, travel, food and more.
So stay tuned to see all the items featured during Oscar week 2007. Here is just a sampling of events you have to look forward to...
• The Haven Oscar Suite• Platinum Publicity Oscar Gifting Suite• Liberace Oscar Suite• The Ultimate Green Room• The Pennhouse Award Suites• GBK Productions Oscar Suite• and more...
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