WHAT’S BRAND GOT TO DO WITH IT?

If you are an­gry with a star, is it right to vent your anger on a brand that they en­dorse?

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - An­juri Na­yar Singh an­juri.na­yar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

While ac­tor Aamir Khan ex­pressed his views as an in­di­vid­ual about the grow­ing in­tol­er­ance in the coun­try, the brunt was borne by brands that he en­dorses, es­pe­cially Snapdeal. #Ap­p­Wapsi even trended on Twit­ter, which en­cour­aged cus­tomers to delete the app.

On Wed­nes­day, Snapdeal is­sued a state­ment say­ing they are not re­spon­si­ble for Aamir’s com­ments.

In­dus­try ex­perts say stars can­not keep their brand com­mitt­ments in mind while ex­press­ing an opin­ion. Ac­tor Raveena Tan­don says that while ac­tors have a clause in their en­dorse­ment con­tracts to make sure that they do not say any­thing which ham­pers the brand’s im­age, what you be­lieve in even­tu­ally comes out. “When you are talk­ing, you are not think­ing about the brands that you en­dorse, you are think­ing as a celebrity and of your re­spon­si­bil­ity. You want to set a cer­tain moral stan­dard. How­ever when we come on board with a brand, we also sign a clause say­ing that we will not say any­thing which will af­fect the brand’s im­age,” she says.

Film­maker Hansal Me­hta says that peo­ple and the brands which they en­dorse have al­ways been linked. “It’s an un­fair sit­u­a­tion. Madhuri (Dixit) was tar­geted for Maggi and this sit­u­a­tion is a re­verse of that. Peo­ple will link brands to ac­tors who en­dorse it, it’s just the times we live in,” he says.

Ad guru Prahlad Kakar says that this is of­ten the price one pays for as­so­ci­at­ing with a big star. “There will be col­lat­eral dam­age in this sit­u­a­tion. The ben­e­fit of hav­ing a big star on board is huge, but it also has a flip side. The most a brand can do is to release a state­ment, which they did,” he says.

Ad-man Alyque Padamsee sees this as the hand­i­work of the brand’s com­peti­tors. “Com­peti­tors in­sti­gate the pub­lic. The tweets, too, might be from ri­vals. It seems po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated,” he says.

Film­maker Vikram Bhatt raises an­other point. He says had Aamir had a film re­leas­ing now, that would have been banned as well. “When your sen­ti­ments are hurt, you will go for the low lay­ing prod­ucts to hurt the per­son,” says the film­maker.

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