From holidays to yoga pants: luxury freebies for Oscars stars

LOS ANGELES, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) – The US tax man has helped put a stop to the 100,000-dollar goodie bags, but celebrities will still be showered with an eye-popping array of lavish gifts at this year’s Oscars. “This is just a thanks for making great movies. These are the people who help put a smile on our faces — so why not give them something to smile about? Give them a break,” she said. Luxurious holidays, state-of-the-art electronic gadgets and a lifetime supply of yoga pants are just some of the freebies that will be on offer to stars this week, despite a clampdown by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced last August that it would no longer offer its famously elaborate gift baskets crammed with high-end luxury products valued at around 100,000 dollars.

“It seemed a little inappropriate to offer a gesture of thanks that then carried with it a tax obligation,” Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said when explaining the decision.

But even though the Oscars has put an end to free swag, companies big and small are still queuing up to try to get their products into the hands of a celebrity, which can translate into big bucks.

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