Celebrity worship at the White House Correspondents Association dinner weekend just went to a new level: Now the stars are getting their own swag suite.
The Creative Coalition and GBK PR announced a “thank you lounge” for “distinguished celebrity delegates” attending the dinner next week. A staple of big Hollywood events like the Oscars and Emmys, gifting lounges are filled with luxury freebies; famous folk are invited to take whatever they want, with vendors counting on free publicity in exchange. (Update, 4/24/13: WHCA lawyers raise objections to gifting suite)
Hmm. So, are actual journalists — originally the center of attention but now increasingly displaced by Hollywood celebrities at the annual media banquet — allowed? “It’s a completely closed event,” a rep for GBK told us Tuesday. “Only celebrities and people who have been invited can attend.”
The story changed once we called Creative Coalition head Robin Bronk, who said GBK came up with the idea and offered to donate a portion of the vendor fees to her celebvocacy non-profit. “It’s cause-related marketing,” she said — and then added that at least 150 White House reporters will be invited to the undisclosed location after all. They can keep the gifts, she said, or donate them to the charity of their choice.
Earlier: Even more White House Correspondents’ dinner celebrity guests!, 4/11/13