Pre-production expenses: cost accounting for sex and drugs

6 April 2024

In this case, pre-production expenses would appear to relate to the costs associated with procuring illicit drugs, and the services of sex workers.

The term came to light during proceedings in the Australian Federal Court last week, in the course of a defamation case between a former federal parliamentary staffer, and an Australian TV broadcaster.

With “pre-production expenses”, have we witnessed the coining of a new euphemism? One that means to ask someone else to reimburse the costs another person incurred while obtaining sex and drugs? I’m not sure it’s entirely new, however. It could be accounting departments have been using the phrase to classify certain expenses for some time.

Still, as a possibly somewhat new euphemism, pre-production expenses can take its place in the vernacular along with the likes of assorted other terms, including “friends with benefits”, “pre-loved”, “wardrobe malfunction”, “between jobs”, and of course, “cook the books”.


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