Oscar 2019: Public Relations Branch Renamed Marketing and Public Relations Branch

The Public Relations Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), one of 17 groups of the 91-year-old organization, is about to be renamed.

In recognition of the large presence of marketing professionals who already belong to the branch alongside publicists, including two of its three representatives on the board of governors, Sid Ganis, the former president of worldwide marketing at Columbia-Tristar who is now a producer, and Christina Kounelias, executive vp worldwide marketing at Participant Media, the executive committee voted to rename it the Marketing and Public Relations Branch.

The branch’s decision must now be reviewed by the Membership and Administration Committee, chaired by Academy secretary David Rubin.

The Public Relations Branch had 455 active members, eligible to nominate films for best picture and then vote to determine winners in all categories, which accounts for 6 percent of the Academy’s active members of 7,902.

Three members of the Public Relations Branch have been elected president of the Academy over the years: Richard Kahn, Ganis and Cheryl Boone Issacs, all of whom from the marketing side of the business.