I love a good trailer or TV spot more than a normal person should, but I’ll be the first to admit they are often very misleading. First of all, they often completely misrepresent the movie’s tone through clever editing. They also often take critics’ quotes suspiciously out of context. Oh, and they say things like “from the producer of [insert good movie here],” as if one good project from a producer guarantees this one will be good. Now there’s a new method movie studios are using to mislead the masses, and it involves making you think the movie has already won a Golden Globe.
I know the Golden Globes haven’t taken place yet this year. I would definitely remember if they had, because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting and it’ll be all anyone talks about for days afterward. So I know that movies like Philomena and 12 Years a Slave — from the Weinstein Co. and Fox Searchlight, respectively — have not won Golden Globes yet. But that won’t stop their TV ads (one of which is below) from saying those movies are “winners” of nominations, making sure the “WINNER” is in huge letters and the “nominee” is in barely noticeable.
But they aren’t going to get away with it that easily. According to The Wrap, Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Theo Kingma has emailed awards campaigners asking them to stop being so misleading in their advertising.
“While earning a nomination is certainly an honor and one to be celebrated, it is not a ‘win’ and using that term or terms similar to it is likely to mislead the public and diminish the excitement around the awards show, when the winners will be revealed.”
The Wrap also reports that The Weinstein Co. confirmed that the ads in question will be pulled this week. The trickery was first pointed out by Franklin Avenue blog, which also cites Weinstein’s August: Osage County as a culprit. There are also reportedly ads for Weinstein’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which feature the phrase “Golden Globe Award” in larger letters over a smaller “nominee.”
Unfortunately for the studios, they won’t be able to get away with it when the Oscars roll around, since, unlike the Globes, the Academy prohibits that kind of tricksy wording. You don’t mess with the Oscars.