Akshay Kumar apologises for association with Elaichi brand – “I step back”

Akshay Kumar was the latest among top Bollywood celebrities to be roped in as brand ambassador for Vimal Elaichi.

In the recent ad for the brand, Akshay was seen sharing screen space with Ajay Devgn and Shahrukh Khan, existing brand ambassadors for the product.

While the ad is promoting Elaichi, the company itself is known for its tobacco products and this ad definitely falls into the category of surrogate advertising.

When Akshay Kumar was spotted in the ad, it sparked off a huge wave of controversy and he was heavily trolled and criticised as the actor is famous for calling out anyone who smokes, drinks or takes drugs.

Akshay Kumar is perhaps the only Bollywood actor who refrains from consuming alcohol, tobacco or any other addictive vice. However, when he signed up to be a brand ambassador for Vimal Elaichi, fans and followers of the actor were deeply disappointed and bombarded social media by calling out what they termed his double standards.

After a few days of outrage, the actor has finally responded to all the criticism and trolling directed at him.

He posted an official statement on his social media and said that he will be pulling out of the deal and will donate his endorsement fee.

His statement read: ““I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I step back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause. The brand might continue airing the ads till the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes.”

The actor clearly realised his mistake, although its surprising that he signed up in the first place. It’s unlikely that he didn’t know that the company’s revenue generating product was tobacco based.

A few years earlier, former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan was roped in by Pan Bahar for a mouth freshener product.

At the time it was surprising that a Hollywood celebrity had signed up to promote a product of a tobacco company. Later it was found out that Pierce Brosnan had no idea he was endorsing a product as part of surrogate advertising and he stated that the company had cheated him. He was outraged because he lost his first wife to cancer, so the idea of promoting tobacco was sickening to him.

No surprises, the ads were pulled up right away.

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