Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar may have made headlines for signing a Rs.20 crore deal to endorse a cola, but not many know that he also turned down a Rs.20 crore offer to endorse a leading liquor brand. "I will never endorse alcohol," he had said at the age of 16, and hasn’t changed his mind at 37.
Actor Sanjay Dutt also refused a tobacco commercial this week. Their decision has set an example among celebs. "It is a reflection of values. If I were in their place, I’d have done the same," says actor Dia Mirza.
Olympian boxer Vijender Singh reiterates Mirza’s views, "I am proud of Sachin. I too will never endorse alcohol, cigarettes or gutka." Cricketer Irfan Pathan and actors Celina Jaitly, Soha Ali Khan and Irrfan Khan are among others who insist they will say no to liquor or cigarettes.
Actor Kareena Kapoor says that she will never endorse non-vegetarian products. Actors, Bipasha Basu and John Abraham, were approached for an aphrodisiac for a huge sum, but they declined. Bipasha will also never consider a condom ad.
However, not everyone have such moral issues. "What is wrong with endorsing a liquor or cigarette brand if the actor drinks or smokes?" argues adman Prahlad Kakkar. In the past, actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and cricketers such as Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni have endorsed liquor brands. If reports are to be believed, actor Abhay Deol, too, is set to feature in a campaign for a leading whisky brand.
Top endorsers of 2010
1. Shah Rukh Khan
*Source: Alchemist Talent Solutions
They didn’t mind endorsing...Alcohol
Shilpa Shetty, Saif Ali Khan Dharmendra, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shah Rukh Khan
Gutka/ Paan Masala
Govinda, Zayed, Feroz and Fardeen Khan, Sanjay Dutt
Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Genelia D’Souza, John Abraham, Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif
Akshay Kumar, Jackie Shroff, Kay Kay Menon