Publicists praise ‘Borat,’ ‘Ugly’

Comedies take top honors at awards show

Corrections were made to this article on February 8, 2007.

It was a “very nice” afternoon for 20th Century Fox, which took home top honors for “Borat” at the 44th annual ICG Publicists Awards, held at the BevHilton on Wednesday. Touchstone/ABC’s “Ugly Betty” was the big winner in the TV category.

“There were times during this campaign when I thought ‘we better win an award for this,’ ” said exec VP of publicity and promotions Breena Camden, echoing Sacha Baron Cohen’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. “He poured the gasoline, we just lit the match,” added Hilary Clark, senior VP of international theatrical publicity.

Longtime “The Price Is Right” host Bob Barker was honored with the ICG President’s Award. “I want to retire while I’m still young” joked 83-year-old Barker, who reminded the crowd “to have their pets spayed and neutered” before heading to CBS for the taping of his 6,550th show.

CBS prexy Nina Tassler was feted with the Television Showmanship Award, though presenter-friend Julia Louis-Dreyfus teased, “It’s not too late to take this back.”

Meanwhile, Sony’s Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal played along with a humorous video spoof as they accepted the Motion Picture Showmanship Award.

Raunchy comic Sarah Silverman, whose boyfriend, Jimmy Kimmel, hosted the show, presented Rogers and Cowan’s Alan Nierob with the Les Mason Award. Accepting the award, Niereb joked, “I will definitely book someone on your show now, Jimmy.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences prexy Sid Ganis received the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, having started as an “on the street” press agent in Lee Solters’ New York office. He gushed about his five “glorious” years working for George Lucas, who was on hand to present the award.

The Publicists Award for Excellence in Unit Still Photography went to Zade Rosenthal, who worked on Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “The Holiday.”

The domestic Press Award was given to Entertainment Tonight’s Bonnie Tiegle, while the Intl. Media Award was presented to U.K. journalist Mike Goodrich.

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