Tom Ford is no doubt celebrating the three Golden Globe nominations his second film, “Nocturnal Animals,” earned Monday: best director, best screenplay and best supporting actor for Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But his fashion brand has landed in hot water over the gifts of two Tom Ford fragrances sent to members of the Hollywood Foreign Press, the voting body for the Golden Globe Awards, earlier in the campaign season.
The HFPA deems gifts in excess of $90 as unacceptable, lest they be construed as trying to sway members’ voting. The Ford fragrances, manufactured by Estée Lauder Cos., retail starting at $80, all the way up to $305. Members were asked Monday to return one of the fragrances in order to comply with the regulations.
The gifts were not made directly by the designer-director; Focus Features, the studio distributing the movie, sent them to members of the press as part of its promotion for the film. It should be noted that wining and dining the Hollywood Foreign Press is a common practice. In fact, public relations and marketing specialists are hired for the very purpose of making sure Golden Globes voters keep certain films top of mind. A sweet-smelling and luxurious reminder of a film’s director would seem an effective and novel way to market subliminally.
One film reporter, who is not a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press, remarked during a Q&A with the director that watching “Nocturnal Animals” spurred her to purchase Tom Ford makeup, declaring it “fabulous.”
Requests for comment from Tom Ford, Lauder and Focus Features were not returned as of press time.