Uggie the dog turns down Oscar invitation – he is far too busy

You know you’re in Hollywood when Uggie, the spunky dog from Oscar-nominated film The Artist, gets invited to an Oscar gifting suite – and turns it down.

The popular Jack Russell terrier received an invitation to Debbie Durkin’s yearly Eco-Oscars Music, Celebrity and Pet Style Lounge, where he would have been photographed on the Red Carpet Pets area, designed a dog bowl for charity, munched on some treats and walked away with a luxurious Minky Couture blanket.

Alas, Uggie was too busy taping Oscar predictions for late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! and had to decline.

Arf!

But many others are showing up to the suite, one of about a dozen in Los Angeles catering to celebrities in the lead-up to Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Gift lounges, also called swag suites, have become key marketing tools for companies seeking exposure for products because star endorsements often draw customers.

In recent years, with the economy weak and people out of work, the lavishing of gifts upon celebrities was seen by some as insensitive and many companies began donating to charity or stayed away entirely.

But this year, with the economy appearing to be on the mend, they are back in large numbers.

Celebrities who accept gift bags are liable for tax on the swag following a 2006 crackdown by US authorities.

At the TMG/Pandora suite, stars can get full complimentary facials, hair care, make-up and manicures.

Watch company Paccioni at GBK’s yearly lounge at the W Hollywood hotel, is asking stars if they want to design their own watch valued at $6 000 (about R45 000).

In keeping with a theme since the 2006 release of Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, many of the suites feature green products or promote environmental responsibility.

Durkin’s Eco-Oscar suite, held at the Pickford Mansion in Hancock Park where parts of The Artist were shot, showcases products made of recyclable materials, among many items.

The trash bags on site are biodegradable, and the food is organic.
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