Amitabh Bachchan has ended his association with a pan masala brand, claiming that he was unaware that it ‘falls under surrogate advertising.’ This comes after he was asked by a national anti-tobacco organisation to leave an ad campaign promoting pan masala, claiming that it would prevent young people from being addicted to tobacco. His fans had also criticised the move.
Bachchan has officially disassociated himself from the brand, according to an official statement. “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 said.
Amitabh Bachchan and Shekhar Salkar, President of the National Organization For Tobacco Eradication, had previously received a letter claiming that pan masala has a negative impact on citizens’ health.
It 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.
Amitabh Bachchan reacted to a fan who asked why he chose to promote the brand last month. 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.”