Entertainment & Arts

Academy sues over unofficial Oscars goody bag

Oscars banner and trophy Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Oscars take place on 28 February

The organisers of the Oscars are suing a company over gift bags that they say have been falsely linked with the Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing for trademark infringement and damage to the Academy's reputation.

The legal action claims that press about the bags by Distinctive Assets have implied they are official and have focused on "the less-than-wholesome nature of some of the products contained in the bags".

Oscars 2016 coverage: BBC News

The Academy does not give out goody bags.

The lawsuit states that the Academy sent a legal letter to the company last year demanding that "all of Distinctive Assets' future communications concerning the gift bags will clearly communicate that the Academy does not award, sponsor, endorse, or provide these gift bags and that any reporting about the gift bags must include that disclaimer".

They claim this was agreed upon but point out that this year Distinctive Assets opted for the tagline "Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bags in Honor of the Oscars®" in their social media promotions.

There have been a number of articles about the gift bags in a diverse range of publications many focusing on the controversial inclusion of a "vampire breast lift", a sex toy and a $275 (£191) roll of toilet paper.

In total the bags are estimated to be valued at $200,000 (£139,000).

The lawsuit claims the press coverage around the gift bags has also focused on the "unseemliness of giving such high value gifts, including trips costing tens of thousands of dollars, to an elite group of celebrities".

Contacted by the BBC, a spokesperson for Distinctive Assets said: "Distinctive Assets has not yet had the opportunity to fully review the AMPAS complaint with counsel and therefore has no comment at this time."

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