Slumping Economy Gives 'Party Crash' Whole New Meaning


While the Oscars seemed to avoid much fall-out from the ongoing international financial meltdown, an even newer, more sensitive brand of Hollywood has sought to distance itself from such fulsome displays of glamour and privilege. Now, according to one report, modesty is king. And before you complain about 30% fewer rhinestones on your swag-tent BlackBerry, consider the alternative: Cannes isn't getting anything.

Yes, the Hotel Martinez is fully booked from penthouse to outhouse, but we flash back only a few days to the grim news that L'Oreal is canceling its annual ad buy on the art-deco landmark's facade. Vanity Fair called off its traditional bash on the Riviera. The festival's official hairstylist is bringing only 15 staffers instead of 20. Yacht brokers can't find anyone to rent their boats. Louis Vuitton is skipping the AmFAR fundraiser, and both Fendi and Swarovski backed out of VIP club sponsorship for the first time in years.

As such, do Cannes like the rest of us do: At home, where the WiFi is free, tuxes are optional, and studios are scaling back while keeping their pride:

"We are busy, but like with everybody else, it's really about corporate responsibility," said Warner Brothers Studios special events director Hillary Harris, indicating that putting forth a targeted message and being mindful of perception are the keys these days. "What it boils down to is putting your money where the focus of your project is. The message is the most important thing. If you do that, you'll not only be successful, but you'll be politically correct."

Like with Watchmen, for example: In a ballroom, there's nothing you can do with Dr. Manhattan's 10-foot blue wang that you can't do with a five-foot blue wang. At least, well... you know.

· Cannes sobers up for low-frills festival [AFP]

· As Hollywood Slogs Through Recession, Studio Events Go On--Cautiously [BizBash]


  • Inhaler says:

    Yeah, when times get tough skipping out on fundraisers is just a no-brainer.
    Especially for Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who saw a 4% rise in revenue and a 7% rise in organic growth for Q4 2008 earnings.
    Because the selling of monogramoflage to the botoxed haut monde is way more valid than supporting AIDS research.