Three days after the municipal corporation shot a public service advertisement about saving water featuring cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, corporators opposed the use of celebrities in awareness campaigns. But they had backed the save-water project. Tendulkar did the ad for free.
The BMC’s standing committee was discussing the extension of a Rs 50-lakh tender issued to filmmaker Smita Talwalkar until March. Actor Aamir Khan was the first name on the list for Talwalkar’s film about solid waste management and Sachin’s second.
“Sachin will be unavailable till March so we will extend the tender as celebrities like Aamir and Sachin will be difficult to find,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev.
This sparked a debate if celebrities were the best way to influence citizens’ mindset.
BJP corporator Yogesh Sagar said: “Celebrity credibility does not rank high among citizens.”
“There was a film we had made with actor Suniel Shetty. What purpose did that serve?” he asked. “Real people should be used in advertisements so that people can relate to them.”
Sena corporator Prabhakar Shinde said someone like Madhavrao Chitale should appear in such ads who has worked for water conservation.