Booze endorsements: India cricket idol Tendulkah refuses to back leading liquor brand

2011-01-10 00:00

FOLLOWING a proposal by the South African government to ban alcohol advertising and sports sponsorships, India cricket hero Sachin Tendulkar has refused to endorse a leading liquor brand in a deal worth millions, according to the Hindistan Times in India yesterday.

Instead, Tendulkar signed another deal worth a couple of million rands for a giant cola company.

“I will never endorse any alcohol or liquor brand”, Tendulkar was quoted as saying, upholding a statement he made when he entered international cricket aged 16.

Top Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt refused to endorse a tobacco brand last week.

South African batsman Hashim Amla, a devout Muslim, refuses to wear the logo of Proteas’ sponsor Castle.

“The decision has set an example among celebrities. A decision like this is a reflection of values; if I were in his place I’d have done the same,” Bollywood star Dia Mirza was quoted as saying.

India boxer Vijender Singh said: “I am very proud of Sachin, I too will never endorse alcohol and tobacco products,” he reportedly said.

Other Bollywood stars and cricketers like Irfan Pathan, Celina Jaitty and Soha Ali Khan supported Tendulkar’s stance.

It’s not only liquor and tobacco that is being turned down.

Popular actress Karena Kapoor has reportedly said she will not endorse non-vegetarian products, while Bipasha Basu and John Abraham declined to endorse an aphrodisiac despite the offer of large sums of money. Actress Basu has also said she will never consider endorsing a condom advert.

However, according to Hindustan Times, not everyone thinks along the same lines. “What is wrong with endorsing a liquor brand, if the actor drinks and takes a couple of puffs on his or her cigarette,” argues adman Prahlad Kakkar.

In the past, actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have endorsed liquor brands.

Shan Pillay is attending the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Conference at the invitation of the Indian government.

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