Tom Ford sometimes gets his kicks by directing critically acclaimed films like A Single Man and this year’s Nocturnal Animals, but he’s actually significantly more famous as a fashion designer. Naturally, then, Focus Features—the studio distributing Nocturnal Animals—thought it would be a good idea to send each member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association two bottles of fancy Tom Ford-branded perfume in the lead-up to tomorrow’s announcement of the Golden Globes nominees. Like most organizations that vote on high-profile awards, however, the HFPA has rules about what members can and cannot accept from a movie studio, and while a nice poster or crummy bottle of wine are typically fair game, an actual thing that someone might want is too far over the line.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, these bottles of Tom Ford perfume can retail for “hundreds of dollars” at retail, and HFPA president Lorenzo Soria has decided that the members must now return one of their bottles to Focus. They’re allowed to keep the other one, though, after someone determined that the perfume’s price on Amazon was just a hair under the $95 value that gifts like this are limited to. (The fact that things are often cheaper on Amazon than they are at retail is probably irrelevant.)
The THR story has some quotes from Soria about this, and he gives off the air of someone who’s a little tired of getting stupid gifts from movie studios. His real concern isn’t the studios trying to sway voters with lavish gifts, it’s all of the packaging that mailing these lavish gifts requires. “A lot of trees are being cut down unnecessarily,” he says, adding that “nobody knows who sent what” anyway. So, if a studio really wants its movie to get noticed, it sounds like it should invest in some branded cardboard boxes. A HFPA voter might not remember who sent them some gift, but they’ll remember the name Nocturnal Animals when they see it printed on a box they have to open, break down, and then toss in a recycling bin.