A day after spinner Harbhajan Singh's legal team served a notice to Vijay Mallya's UB Spirits over a commercial for McDowell's No. 1 Platinum featuring Dhoni, UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya told a news channel that his group was not in favour of pulling the controversial advertising campaign off air.
Mallya said that the controversial ad was not aimed at making fun of Harbhajan Singh and it was just a spoof between two competing brands. He also said that lot of spoofs are made these days on famous personalities but legal notices are not sent in these cases.
Now, Mallya's lawyers will decide on the next course of action.
The ad in question showed Dhoni making fun of Harbhajan's role in a commercial for rival Pernod Ricard's Royal Stag. McDowell's No. 1 Platinum and Royal Stag are competing whiskey brands, falling in the same price band.
The notice says that such commericals cause disunity and friction within the Indian team.
For the first time, an Indian cricketer is mocking a team-mate in a TV commercial for a liquor brand. The ad goes like this... As a young boy, ace spinner Harbhajan Singh had the choice of churning out ball-bearings from his father's workshop, but he chose to pursue his dreams and made it large in the cricketing world — that's how Royal Stag puts it.
Touching, but McDowell's is not happy. And so a spoof shows a teenaged Bhajji look-alike accidentally creating humongous iron balls in a tryst to 'make it large' at the ball-bearings workshop! Even as the Bhajji-lookalike gets thrashed by his father, MS Dhoni comes, switches off the TV and says that it's not about making large, but different.
Harbhajan's lawyers have demanded an unconditional apology along with the advertisenments being withdrawn immediately.