A Hollywood-style “gifting suite” designed to attract the celebrities gadflies in town for the White House Correspondents’ dinner has drawn the ire of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
A WHCA lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to GBK Productions, first noted by Politico, warning the L.A. outfit that what it had billed as a “White House Correspondents’ Dinner Thank You Lounge” infringed on the press group’s trademark. Attorney George A. Lehner told us that while many other outside organizations host events geared around the annual dinner, most are more careful in their wording, whereas the GBK event “made it appear as if it was the association’s gifting lounge.”
Swag suites — where luxury goods are offered up to invited celebs in a freebie smorgasbord by fee-paying vendors hoping for publicity — are commonplace in Hollywood but a new concept in D.C., which is why GBK CEO Gavin Keilly thinks his plans hit a hurdle here. Lehner “asked that I change the wording, which I was willing to do to,” he said. Proceeds will go to the celebvocacy outfit Creative Coalition.