Will "Blood" kill diamonds at the Oscars?
You bet. Almost three months before the Warner Bros film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimoun Hounsou, is due for release (Dec. 15), the World Diamond Corporation has launched a major offensive campaign with a big ad in large newspapers (and on their website) explaining that the "conflict" or "blood diamond" problem has been solved.
The ads mention the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a plan put in place to certify a stone's origins, insuring that no conflict stones enter the marketplace. The KPCS is currently under review with results on the program's effectiveness due out this fall.
Why is the WDC trying to fend off criticism so early? Have they seen any film footage? No, according to studio sources.
But the diamond industry seems to be shaking in their bright shiny shoes, worried that consumers will believe that conflict diamonds are still being smuggled and sold. Or worse, that they will read about the stones being a viable currency funding international terrorist forces such as Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
"If they want to educate the public, that's great. The more information on conflict diamonds that gets out, the better," says a source close to the film about the WDC's pro-active ads. "Unfortunately, their ads do not tell the whole story, that, despite their attempts to police their industry, there are flaws and loopholes in the Kimberley Process."
Whatever happens to the diamond market, it will be interesting to see how A-list actresses will cope with questions about their bling in December, when "Blood Diamond," and other Oscar hopeful films, are released.
Here's a sampling: Did the jeweler who loaned you that million dollar necklace mention how many people had their hands hacked off for it? How do you feel knowing that your pretty ring could have funded Hezbollah? Or that those fabulous chandelier earrings may have bought arms for Osama?
May I suggest that any Oscar-hopefuls planning on wearing diamonds on the carpets have a prepared answer to these inevitable questions, along with the notes on who designed their gowns and made their shoes.
Otherwise, they'll risk looking stupid, vapid and uninformed. And that sure won't help an Oscar campaign, now will it?
Photo Credits: Thanks to "Blood Diamond," diamonds may not be as prevalent in the 2007 Awards Season. Even Teri Hatcher, selecting a ring at the Diamond Information Center's Pre-Oscar Suite at the Soho House last March, may think twice about bling.
Wire Image/Amy Graves