Contract over, govt did not remove Aamir Khan, says minister

A confusion hovering around actor Aamir Khan and ‘Incredible India’ campaign erupted on Wednesday with reports that he has been ‘sacked’ as the brand ambassador of the ad campaign.

BJP leader Amit Malviya had posted on Twitter, “Aamir Khan removed as brand ambassador of Incredible #India.” This fuelled speculation that the ‘PK’ actor was ousted because of his comments on “growing intolerance” in November last year.

Soon after, the Ministry of Tourism clarified the confusion over the actor’s removal from ‘Incredible India’ on the micro-blogging site and tweeted that there was no change in the stand of the ministry in this matter.

The ministry further posted, “At present, we have a contractual agreement with creative agency Mc Cann Worldwide to produce social awareness campaign, which featured Aamir Khan.”

However, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma put to rest all the confusion. The minister said that Aamir Khan was part of the campaign through a contract with advertising agency McCann Erickson, and the agreement has ended.

"Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists," Sharma was quoted by a PTI report. A decision will be taken on whether the contract is to be renewed, the minister added.

Sharma also said that it has nothing to do with Aamir Khan’s controversial remarks on intolerance, and that it is a non-issue for the Tourism Ministry.

He further clarified that the Ministry’s agreement was with the advertising agency and not with the actor. Commenting on the possibility of Aamir Khan featuring in other ads by the ministry, Sharma said a proposal will be tabled before a board and the board will finalise the name of the ad agency and a face for the campaign. In the fresh agreement, the board can finalise Amir Khan or any other person, he added.