ATAS has ad-vantage

It turns out that the Primetime Emmys are safe for commercials after all.

Arbitrator Edward J. Costello ruled Wednesday that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) has the right to hand out an Emmy Award on Sept. 7 for outstanding commercials for the first time.

In the running are two Levi’s ads (“Doctor” and “Elevator Fantasy”), and spots for HBO (“Chimps”), Nike (“Hello World”), and GM EV-1 (“Appliances”).

The National Assn. of Television Arts and Sciences — an unaffiliated organization out of New York — had submitted the complaint in the belief that the commercial award was against a joint resolution made by both academies in 1992.

To say the least, NATAS was not happy with the ruling.

“We are disappointed and strongly disagree with the arbitrator’s decision and consider it irrational and unreasoned,” a fiercely worded NATAS statement said. NATAS also hinted it will appeal the ruling, noting that it is “now consulting with counsel as to our further action.”

ATAS was rather more upbeat about things, saying it was “delighted that the highly creative art form of commercials will receive the recognition it so richly deserves.”

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