HFPA President Theo Kingma wrote in a letter dated Monday he had received complaints from some studios' marketing departments about other companies' usage of the word "winner" in their promotional materials for movies, which have earned nominations but no actual awards yet.
The Hollywood Reporter said Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave" and The Weinstein Co.'s "August: Osage County," "Philomena" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" are among the movies with commercials identifying them as winners of Golden Globe nominations.
"It is entirely appropriate for advertising and publicity material related to nominated films or films with nominated directors or actors to prominently display those nominations. This helps draw attention to the fine performances by the nominees and to the awards show itself," Kingma wrote in the letter.
"However, we have recently seen several instances in which the word 'winner' was used too prominently in publicity and advertising to describe nominees," the letter said. "While earning a nomination is certainly an honor and one to be celebrated, it is not a 'win' and using that term or terms similar to it is likely to mislead the public and diminish the excitement around the awards show, when the winners will be revealed."
The Golden Globe Awards will be distributed by the HFPA Jan. 12.