Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Amitabh Bachchan denies taking fee to promote DD Kisan
NEW DELHI: Actor Amitabh Bachchan has denied entering into a contract to charge the government for promoting DD Kisan, reacting to news reports that ad agency Lintas was negotiating a `6.31 crore fee on his behalf.
Bachchan said although he worked with Lowe Lintas, which is preparing promotional campaigns for the state-run channel, he was working “pro bono”, a legal term that means voluntary professional work without any fee.
“I wish to state that I have not entered into any contract with Doordarshan, on the endorsement of their channel DD Kisan, and neither have I received any money from them. I worked with Lowe Lintas on the campaign for DD Kisan, and have not entered into any contract with them either, nor have I received any money from Lintas. My ‘deliverables’ on this campaign have been executed by me many days ago,” Bachchan said in the statement.
“I work pro bono on various issues and DD Kisan Channel is one of them. If there is any evidence or proof to the contrary, please forward them to me for verification,” the actor added.
The information and broadcasting ministry is probing the matter, a senior official said. Prasar Bharati, the entity that runs DD, has made payments of `6.21 crore to Lintas to get promotional campaigns made for DD Kisan. The government had unveiled the channel for farmers recently. The Union budget had made an allocation of `100 crore for 2014-2015 for the channel. CEOs of two Lintas firms, Joseph George and Shahsi Sinha, did not respond to calls made by HT.