Big B stopped endorsing Pepsi after it was called ‘poison’

Amitabh Bachchan is urging celebrities to do a due diligence before endorsing brands. He claims to have stopped endorsing Pepsi after a little girl asked him why he endorsed a product her teacher labelled as poison. Referring to this as a wake up call, Bachchan narrated the incident which happened during an event in a school in Jaipur. The girl had confronted him with this question and he confessed that he had no reply at that time. What struck him was the attitude of the people towards Pepsi. ‘...So I stpped endorsing Pepsi’, said Amitabh while addressing the audience at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, which comprised of IIM – A students, faculty members and officials of Gujarat Tourism. Bachchan promotes the brand – Gujarat Tourism.

Amitabh Bachchan claims to be doing the due diligence ever since, before endorsing any product, saying,  ‘I look into it... I meet the client and ask them about it... I don’t endorse tobacco or alcohol because I don’t have them... then why should I endorse them?’

He added, ‘I tell this to my son Adhishek and to daughter – in – law Aishwarya also... if you have to endorse a product then you have to conduct your life in such a manner that it does not affect others lives.’ This whole comment stemmed from a question asked by an IIM-A student during the interactive session as to how he decided on brands before endorsing them.

Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of Environment ThinkTank Centre for Science and Environment, told the newspaper Economic Times that Bachchan’s comments should serve as an example for other celebrities who endorse brands that are unhealthy and make children obese.  When PepsiCo, owner of Pepsi, was asked about their views on the actor’s comments, a spokesperson refused to comment.

As cola brands are the biggest spenders in the advertising markets, associating oneself with them is instant recognition in B-Town. Actors and celebrities known for endorsing these brands are Ranbir Kapoor, M S Dhoni, Deepika Padukone, Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and many more. Although Bachchan’s comment has been applauded by many, some feel he should use some discretion. According to Harish Bijoor, social commentator and brand consultant, Bachchan should have been more careful before airing such views. He said, ‘After endorsing a brand for so many years, he cannot deendorse it. Any brand endorsement deal by a celebrity is an informed choice. They cannot be repenting it at a later stage.’