LOS ANGELES — Every year, celebrity guests at the Oscars get gift bags with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of swag, and the 2019 ceremony is no different.
Vox reported that a company called Distinctive Assets is responsible for the bags, and other companies pay to have their items included in them. The hope is that celebrities like the products and spread the word about them.
It costs a pretty penny to get products into the hands of celebrities. Jewelry designer Jan Lewis had her products in three Oscars gift bags over the years, and told Inc. in 2018 it cost $2,500 to get placement in the bags, not including providing the product itself.
Roberto Torres, president of Black & Denim Apparel Company, said in a 2013 report from Entrepreneur that the placement fee to get a product in a bag at the 2011 Oscars was $5,000. The price goes up if company representatives want a photo with an Oscar attendee holding their product. Companies also need to hire a PR firm specializing in product placement, according to Torres, which adds to costs.
An Oscar statue is displayed in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards. Companies pay thousands of dollars to have products in gift bags given to nominees. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
The overall price of the gift bag, however, is no longer disclosed by Distinctive Assets.
"A great gift has nothing to do with the retail value," Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, said in a 2018 news release, according to Forbes. "For years we have been breaking one of the cardinal rules of gift giving by disclosing the price tag. Instead, we are trying to start a new tradition by simply celebrating the fun and festive nature of this legendary gift bag."
Related: Oscars 2019: See the list of nominees
Typically, snacks, spa services, skin care products and vacations are included, but this year the 25 nominees will get hand-made cannabis-infused chocolate truffles, according to The Telegraph.
The Coda Signature Crescendo Collection 6-piece truffles each have 10 mg of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis that gets people high. Recreational marijuana was legalized in California last year, so the gift item isn’t completely unexpected.
"This year, we are so excited about the legalization of cannabis in California, so we will be including a number of items in that category," Fary told The Telegraph. "But there are quite a few regulations surrounding distribution of cannabis, so we are treading lightly this year as we dip our toe into those waters.
“Hopefully we are also introducing them to some new brands and experiences they wouldn’t otherwise know about.”
A full list of gifts in this year's bag was published by The Independent. Some gifts include private phobia relief sessions, custom stained glass portraits, luxyry T-Shirts, a ZuZu Kim Couture Bow Tie, a poolside dinner for friends prepared by a celebrity chef, a three-day stay at a Malibu, California, wellness retreat, and personal training sessions.
Cox Media Group