Online retail major Snapdeal has decided to not renew Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s contract as brand ambassador, triggering speculation that the development was linked to the actor’s controversial comments on rising intolerance in the country last year.
Khan was the face of the ‘Dil Ki Deal’ print, television and digital campaigns run by the e-commerce firm but Snapdeal decided against extending the one-year endorsement deal that ends later this month, the Economic Times reported.
“It was extendable by a year but the company decided against it,” a Snapdeal executive told ET.
Khan was in the eye of a storm last November after revealing that his family contemplated moving abroad in the wake of a string of violent incidents, including the mob lynching of a Muslim man on beef consumption rumours and the burning alive of two Dalit children.
His comments ignited howls of protests on social media and elsewhere, with top political leaders criticising him and irate consumers deleting the Snapdeal app from their phones, prompting the firm to stop using advertisements featuring the actor.
Users also downvoted the app on the Google app store, using the hashtag #Appwapsi – a reference to a wave of writers, artists and filmmakers returning top government awards to protest against rising intolerance in the country.
This is the second major endorsement loss for Aamir Khan. The government decided last month to not renew Khan’s contract for the flagship Incredible India campaign to promote tourism in the country.