Has Snapdeal, India’s second-largest ecommerce company after Flipkart, discontinued the services of brand ambassador Aamir Khan? The company said it was in no position to comment on the celebrity’s status. But in a telephonic interaction, a company executive said, “Wait till next week, and you will hear something.”
Khan was embroiled in a controversy after he said at a conference in November that his wife had asked if they should leave the country amid growing intolerance. There was an immediate backlash on social media and Snapdeal stopped using the actor in its ads.
The ecommerce company signed Khan as its brand ambassador in February last year and launched the “Dil ki Deal” campaign. The campaign continues without Khan. The contract signed then was for a year, extendable by another year. An extension appears unlikely.
“It is a fair assessment for Snapdeal. You can’t have someone like that as a brand ambassador, considering Snapdeal has a consumer connect,” said Suhel Seth, managing partner of consultancy Counselage India.
Actor Shahrukh Khan found himself in a similar controversy when he aired his views on intolerance in the country, after which vandals attacked theatres where his film Dilwale was being screened. Actress Sonam Kapoor said in an interview that both Aamir and Shahrukh would be afraid of voicing their opinions after such incidents.
“It’s a travesty that in India a brand ambassador’s personal point of view affects the image of the brand that they are endorsing,” Seth said.
Snapdeal might not continue with Khan any more, but it is still not clear if the online marketplace will find his replacement in another star.