Movie ads have always been banned from the movies’ biggest night on TV.
Not any more.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences board of governors voted Tuesday night to ease its longstanding ban on movie advertisements running in the Oscar telecast.
The board voted to allow a limited number of spots for movies that will not open until the last week of April at the earliest — meaning that none of the nommed pics can be tubthumped during the telecast, Acad prexy Sid Ganis told Daily Variety. Ads for sequels or prequels to pics in contention in the picture, docu and animation categories will not be allowed.
Acad had banned movie advertising ever since the Oscars were first televised in 1953 in an effort to avoid any suggestion that studio coin influenced the outcome of the awards.
Acad’s move could also be a step toward adding a little popcorn appeal to the telecast following recent criticism that the awards have focused on indie pics with niche-aud appeal.
The showcase of never-before-seen spots for, say, next year’s tentpoles like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "G.I. Joe" and "Terminator Salvation," could be a highly promotable element for next year’s telecast — especially as the Oscars are looking to rebound from this year’s record-low aud of 32 million viewers.
Next year’s telecast is set for Feb. 22 on ABC. The "Dreamgirls" duo of Bill Condon and Laurence Mark have been tapped as first-time Oscarcast producers.
Among the Academy’s other rules for accepting movie ads: