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Inside move: Academy admonishes CAA

Oscar blurb touting wannabe nominees 'unprecedented'

Y tu agency tambien!

CAA was mum over the weekend after being chastised Friday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, in an ad responding to the agency’s March 22 advertisement.

Friday’s ad, which ran in papers including Daily Variety, noted that CAA had congratulated a roster of clients on receiving Academy Award nominations. However, the Acad noted that only 16 of the 32 individuals named were actual nominees. The rest were clients associated with nominated films.

On Friday, Acad exec administrator Ric Robertson told Daily Variety, “We think the ad speaks for itself. We gave the agency an opportunity to correct the record themselves, and it seemed to be taking an awfully long time, which is why we took out the ad.”

CAA was unavailable for comment.

In the past, other agencies have taken out similar ads touting clients who were only tangentially involved with nominees — but those ads were for other awards shows. For example, the Gersh Agency’s ad before the Golden Globes listed clients who were in nominated TV series, even though those clients themselves were not nominees. As one kudos maven said, it’s common to “take liberties” with the definition of a nominee, since film and TV are collaborative efforts.

But a Gersh rep reminded Daily Variety that the agency takes no such liberty with Oscar ads. And in its pre-Academy Awards congrats ad in March, ICM carefully listed only the 28 nominees who actually had received nominations.The Academy — super-scrupulous about inaccuracies or infractions against rules — chided CAA’s “breach of tradition” as “unprecedented.”

The Friday ad was signed simply “AMPAS.” Execs there demurely would not give credit to any individual for the withering and witty letter, which quoted a CAA rep as defending the March 22 ad by saying, “We like to celebrate our clients.”

The Acad then deadpanned, “It seems prudent to nip this form of enthusiasm in the bud, lest CAA or another even more enthusiastic entity decide next year to celebrate its clients by awarding several dozen of them not just nominations but actual Oscars, or Congressional Medals of Honor, or Nobel Prizes.”

Chico, que caliente!

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