Giving in to a request from a national anti-tobacco organization, Amitabh Bachchan has terminated his contract with a pan masala brand. He said that he wasn’t aware that the promotion ‘falls under surrogate advertising’. The request also claimed that by doing so it would prevent youngsters from getting addicted to tobacco.
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.
His endorsing the pan masala brand was also criticised by his fans.
An open letter addressed to Amitabh Bachchan by Shekhar Salkar, President National Organization For Tobacco Eradication 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.