Who wins the battle between MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh is one thing. The real question on everyone’s mind is if stars need to endorse liquor brands at all. As the leading cricketers come under the scanner for a surrogate ad for liquor brand McDowell’s, in which Dhoni makes fun of Bhajji’s ad for another alcohol brand, Royal Stag, fans and ad gurus say both of them must be taken to task for not living up to their social responsibility.
“The tussle between the two is a minor problem; I think the bigger debate is whether stars should be allowed to endorse alcohol at all,” says adman Prasoon Joshi. “Celebrities and cricketers should not be brand ambassadors for liquor as it glamourises alcohol. Such ads inspire youngsters to start drinking at an early age,” says Alyque Padamsee, ad expert.Fans are as disappointed. "There are hundreds of products they can endorse, why encourage drinking? They don’t say ‘alcohol’ in the ad, but we all know," says Parth Sethi, 23.