Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is no longer the brand ambassador for the beverage giant Coca Cola India.
The company dropped Khan as brand ambassador for its soft drink ‘Thums Up’ after four years of association. The contract with Khan had expired last month and the company chose not to renew it due to actor’s association with reality show, Bigg Boss.
A joint statement released by Salman Khan and Coca Cola India on Wednesday night clarified that Khan was committed to an existing relationship with a daily TV show, which this year happens to be sponsored by a brand that competes with the Coca-Cola India product portfolio. “In light of this, both parties have mutually decided not to renew the current contract,” said the statement.
While the statement did not mention the name of the show and the competition brand, Salman Khan-anchored Bigg Boss, a reality show has signed up Parle Agro’s carbonated apple juice brand Appy Fizz as the show’s main sponsor, ending its two-year association with online retailer Snapdeal.
Parle Agro will pay Colors tv channel between Rs 35 crore and Rs 45 crore for the season, as per the media buyers.
According to the industry sources, Coca Cola India is in talks with actor Ranveer Singh to replace 50-year-old Khan. However, the company did not divulge details about the issue.
Khan has been among the top celebrity endorsers reportedly charging Rs 5 crore per year per brand. Recently, he had courted controversy when he supported Pakistani artists saying “they were not terrorists” in the wake of a debate on whether they should be allowed to work in Indian movies after the Uri attack.
Coca Cola India had roped in Salman as its brand ambassador for the second time to endorse its Thums Up brand in October 2012 replacing another Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. He had earlier endorsed the brand in early 2000s.
Earlier, Coca-Cola India had also signed an agreement with Being Human -- The Salman Khan Foundation -- to jointly promote, conceive and execute charitable and social activities.
(With inputs from PTI)