The Publicist:

Publicist Guild Awards luncheon isn't winning many honors itself

Publicist Guild Awards luncheon isn't winning many honors itself

Working abroad the past few months gave me a good excuse to skip the Publicist Guild Awards in February.

For that, I'm thankful. This annual luncheon is about as exciting as counting the rotations after placing a blue sock in a dryer full of whites. The dentist's office is more fun. Think The Economist is dry? Try the chicken.

Nonetheless, some folks take an interest in the awards (based on the avalanche of e-mails, about three, that I received), so here's a quick recap. All the highlights, none of the tedium.

Some 900 publicists and studio types attended this year's kudos in Beverly Hills, impressive considering the heavy downpour. (LA weddings are known to be canceled if more than three clouds appear on the horizon.) The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson emceed, joined by celebrity presenters Tom Selleck, Rob Schneider, James Cameron (the "king of the world" guy, remember?), director Danny Boyle, and the lovely and talented Julie Andrews. (This is the second year in a row Andrews has found time to attend the event. I'm getting concerned about how her day job is working out.)

The Guild's highest honor, we are told, is the Les Mason Award, which probably goes to the publicist best able to routinely extract clients from potentially sticky situations with the press - such as when an Oscar-winning actor is discovered unconscious at Griffith Park at 5am with his pants in a compromising position and a bottle of Ripple clutched in his hand.

Wish I knew who Les Mason is, but I have no idea. I can only assume, however, that as the namesake for such a prestigious award, he himself was never found in Griffith Park at 5am with pants in a compromising position and a bottle of Ripple in hand.

Anyway, veteran personal publicist Annett Wolf (of Wolf/Kasteler) won this Les Mason, which, if I correctly understand the bylaws, requires fellow publicists to refer to her as "Sir Annett" until a new winner is proclaimed next February. As for the group awards, Universal won best film publicity campaign for Ray while ABC won TV honors for Desperate Housewives.

Since Guild publicists belong to the Cinematographers Guild, we're sort of obligated to bestow a photography award, too. I just finished working with one of five nominees, a guy named Steve, and voted for him. He lost, but considering he didn't attend the show, and the victor did, Steve is the clear winner.

Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

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