Are Hyundai and Oscar on a collision course?

Academy rules say nominees can't be in commercials during the show, but probable nominee Jeff Bridges voices ads for Hyundai, the show's automotive sponsor.

By TheWrap Jan 28, 2010 5:23PM

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which presents the Oscars, has some odd rules about advertising during the Oscar broadcast. And it looks like Hyundai is bumping up against those rules.


Hyundai's commercials use uncredited voiceovers from all-but-certain Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges.
According to the Academy’s director of communications, Leslie Unger, sponsors are permitted to use nominees in their ads, but only if at least one hour elapses between the ad and the announcement of the nominee’s category. If the nominee is also a presenter, the same gap must occur between the ad and his or her appearance on the show.

However, Hyundai will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7, and it plans to run nine ads during the show, a company spokesman confirmed to TheWrap. And those ads will feature Bridges’ voiceovers.

A Hyundai rep said he was unaware of any potential conflicts.


With the Oscar show typically running 13 acts, which means it includes a dozen commercial breaks, it would be extraordinarily difficult to fit nine Hyundai ads into the show and still leave an hour between those ads and the presentation of Best Actor.


Maybe the Academy will treat this situation differently because Bridges is offscreen and uncredited (though it’s obviously him).


Maybe a different kind of compromise will be made.


However it plays out, $12.5 million (the ballpark figure for what Hyundai’s ads likely cost) is a powerful incentive to make it work.


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