Top ICG Publicists nods honor thugs and kisses


Warner Bros. publicists took the spotlight Wednesday as the studio's moody campaign on behalf of "The Dark Knight" and its media efforts for the Warners-produced CW show "Gossip Girl" copped the ICG Publicists' Showmanship Awards.

The union publicists also bestowed showman of the year honors on husband-and-wife film producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, as well as TV comedy veteran Chuck Lorre.

"This event is an opportunity for us to do a little bragging and let the world know that we are the ones who put the 'show' in 'show business,' " awards chairman Henri Bollinger said.

The 46th annual awards honored outstanding achievement by media publicists and journalists. As is customary, presenters and honorees offered a healthy measure of irreverent humor.

"With all the changes at the Screen Actors Guild, they've just announced a new spokesperson: Christian Bale," ICG Publicists president Steven Poster joked.

Lorre said looking down into the Beverly Hilton ballroom crowd put him in mind of "the ballroom scene in 'Titanic.' " Citing the tough economic times, he added, "Hopefully, CBS won't go bankrupt, forcing me to do one of those four-minute Web site pieces of s***."

Still, the event was not without its nod to professional decorum.

In accepting a lifetime achievement award, Variety editor in chief Peter Bart said he hopes union publicists will create an award for professional civility.

And USA Today writer Claudia Puig, honored for distinguished work in 2008, thanked the assembled publicists for their collective "good-naturedness." (partialdiff)

Recently retired PMK/HBH principal Pat Kingsley was honored with the Les Mason Award for career achievement, and Cheri Warner of Murray Weisman & Associates received the Bob Yeager Award for community service.

Anke Hofmann of Germany won the international media award, and Melinda Sue Gordon copped unit still photography laurels. (partialdiff)