With the tremendous pressure being put by the anti-tobacco lobby and the health ministry when it comes to smoking or drinking liquor, celebrities are now shying away from endorsing tobacco and liquor products. Sources say that the tobacco and liquor companies have apparently decided to loosen their purse strings to the tune of Rs 25-30 crore for a single ad-deal to get a celeb on board, but find themselves up against a wall.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has paved the way by apparently refusing a Rs 20-crore tobacco deal. Actors Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan Khan, actress Celina Jaitley, Soha Ali Khan, and cricketerIrfan Pathan adopted that stance and have apparently turned down lucrative ad deals according to sources.
“Sachin politely refused the ad deal saying that he had promised his father that he will never endorse tobacco. The company offered to increase the stake, but Sachin was firm about not endorsing it irrespective of the offer being made to him,” informs a source. A close cricketer friend of Sachin confirmed the new development.
Sanjay Dutt, who despite an ongoing contract with a gutkha company, has apparently decided not to endorse liquor or tobacco. “Sanjay was informed that a doctor’s organisation urged him to stop smoking and not endorse tobacco products. He informed his manager to stop taking any new (ad) contract and not renew an earlier contract with the gutkha company,” says another source. A spokesperson confirmed the development. Sources also say that Dutt is trying to quit smoking with the arrival of twins in his life. “He would like to set an example for his kids. He will stop using and endorsing products that are considered bad for health. However, all this will happen slowly, as there is also his existing contract with the gutkha company to consider,” adds the source.
If sources are to be believed there have been several ad deals that have been rejected by prominent actors like Bipasha Basu, John Abraham, Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor.
“They are all re-evaluatingtheir images. They don’t want to be seen as celebrities who associate themselves to brands that are considered detrimental to the health and general well-being of the Indian family. In a span of six months, at least 10 such endorsements have apparently been rejected, and the cumulative worth of all of them is more than Rs 500 crore,” informs the source.
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