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Amitabh Bachchan terminates contract with pan masala brand, returns fees: ‘Wasn’t aware it falls under surrogate advertising’

Amitabh Bachchan's office released a statement that he has dissociated from the pan masala brand and has returned his fees.

Amitabh Bachchan has terminated his association with the pan masala brand

Amitabh Bachchan has terminated his contract with a pan masala brand, saying that he wasn’t aware that the promotion ‘falls under surrogate advertising’. The decision comes after a national anti-tobacco organization requested him to withdraw from the ad campaign, claiming that it would prevent youngsters from getting addicted to tobacco. His fans had also criticised the move.

An official statement released by Bachchan’s office said that he has dissociated himself from the brand. “Kamala Pasand … a few days after the commercial was aired, Mr Bachchan contacted the brand and stepped out of it last week . Upon checking why this sudden move – it was revealed that when Mr Bachchan became associated with the brand , he wasn’t aware that it falls under surrogate advertising. Mr Bachchan has terminated the contract with the Brand, has written to them his termination and has returned the money received for the promotion,” the statement read.

Earlier, an open letter had been addressed to Amitabh Bachchan by Shekhar Salkar, President National Organization For Tobacco Eradication, in which he stated that pan masala impacts the health of citizens. He also added that since Big B is the government brand ambassador for the pulse polio campaign, he should drop out of pan masala ads immediately. “As an oncologist and member of an NGO working in the field of tobacco cessation, I am aggrieved and provoked to wage war against the dubious measures, such embellishment done by various influential and famous Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh and Hrithik Roshan, leading to increased tobacco use among students,” the letter read.

Last month, Amitabh Bachchan had responded to a fan who asked him why he chose to endorse the brand. He said, “If some people are getting benefits from an industry, we should not think as to ‘why am I getting associated with it?’ If it is an industry, then we too should think of it as our industry. Now, you may think that I should not be doing it, but I get paid for it.”

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Surrogate advertising is a form of advertising in which banned products, such as cigarettes and tobacco, are promoted in the disguise of another product.

First published on: 11-10-2021 at 11:02:42 am
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