Oscars Will Now Allow Movie Commercials – Good Idea Or Bad Idea?

I love the Oscars. Every year I host an Oscar party and we podcast our way through them now as well. Yeah, there are loads of problems with the Oscars, and often the show itself is boring, but I don’t care. I love the movies and so the night that celebrates the year that was in the movies will always be something I enjoy.

But this morning this story caught my attention. Ever since the Oscars started being televised they’ve had a very good rule. NO MOVIE COMMERCIALS DURING THE OSCARS! Considering how politically charged the Oscars can be sometimes, it’s a good idea to avoid even the appearance that a studio is buying their way into special consideration at the Oscar by buying big dollars worth of ad space. You can’t have a vote where one of the candidates is handing the voters bags of money.

In practical terms, the way the voting system is set up for the Oscars, there really isn’t any danger of it being swayed by a studio buying commercial time on the show… but there is something to be said for keeping even the appearance of impropriety out. Still… you can totally understand why studios would want to advertise their movies during the one time of the year most movie fans are watching the TV.

Well, it has now been announced that the Oscar will allow studios to advertise their films during commercial breaks this year… with some strict restrictions:

– the ads themselves, the spots can’t promote any of the nominated movies

– the ads can’t promote any prequels or sequels to nominated movies

– the ads can’t promote films currently in release. Only movies that are set to open during the last week of April or later allowed.

– each distributor is only allowed ONE commercial spot during the telecast

– the ads can’t have the words “Oscar” or “Academy” in them anywhere

– the ads can only promote ONE movie and not mention others in the ad

As you can probably tell from my opening comments, I’m a little bit torn over this. in reality this really won’t effect anything at all, but the appearance of it seems… I don’t know… just not quite right. I guess the way I feel about it right now is that if I was in charge of The Academy (and you’re all thanking God I’m not) I wouldn’t allow it… but at the same time I don’t really have any complaints about it if that’s what they’re going to do.

So what do you think? Good idea or bad idea to let movie advertise during the Oscars?

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