Oscars Scale Back on Celeb Freebies

The recession has hit the red carpet.

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Who needs ultra-bling when you can have a vacuum cleaner?

Red carpet walkers in Oscar's heyday were once lavished with buckets of high-end, free merchandise, including rides on private jets, diamond jewelry and vacations, all valued at thousands of dollars.

This year, gift bags will include a cheap handbag, a vacuum cleaner, handmade jewelry and a toothbrush-cleaning device that retails for around $30, according to CNN.

"The country is shifted, and I think that bling is out," gift-bag creator Jane Ubell-Meyer told CNN. Ubell-Meyer's company, Madison & Mulholland, designs the Oscar giveaways for the ceremony each year.

This year, Madison & Mulholland is focusing on "affordable luxury" with the freebies, Ubell-Meyer said.



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