Oscar Ads Held to Higher Standards

02/24/2004 11:47AM

Pro football players might not care whether their big game is sandwiched between commercials depicting male bikini waxing, vicious dogs or flatulent horses, but celebrities attending the 76th Annual Academy Awards won't have to worry about a camera zooming in on them following an ad for erectile dysfunction.

Sunday's Oscar ceremony is adhering to a higher standard than the controversial commercials that aired during this year's Super Bowl matchup, the Associated Press reports.

That means no cutaway from Charlize Theron to animals with gastrointestinal problems or beer commercials, or ads for mysterious pharmaceuticals. In fact, no pharmaceutical ads are allowed at all.

Among the other rules for Oscar advertising: There can be no mention of the show itself or of any awards show; no ads featuring clips from movies that have been nominated for awards; no ads featuring any nominee or Oscar presenter; no ads from competing companies (Cadillac is the only car company allowed to advertise, for example); and no ad for feminine hygiene products. These rules have been in place at least 20 years, AP reports.

The intention isn't to create a stuffy atmosphere, a rep for the Academy said, but to create a dignified event and presentation. "We want it to be a family affair that can be appreciated by the widest possible audience," he said.

ABC, which is broadcasting the ceremony, collected a record $1.5 million per 30-second ad, AP reports. By contrast, Super Bowl ads were $2.3 million for the same amount of time.

Although the Academy must approve each ad, none were rejected this year. "(The Academy is) preserving the exclusive sanctity of this one show, because there's no other show like it -- bar none," said Geri Wang, a vice president for ad sales at ABC.

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