Amitabh Bachchan has issued a legal warning to a pan masala firm that has continued to show TV advertising featuring him despite a contract cancellation. In October, he announced his departure from the Kamla Pasand campaign, citing a national anti-tobacco organization’s request that he desist from sponsoring a pan masala brand to prevent young people from being addicted to cigarettes. For the ad, Bachchan was also criticized on social media.
“It was learned from Mr. Bachchan’s office that a legal notice has been sent to Kamala Pasand to stop Broadcasting the TV commercials with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan immediately,” a source close to the actor confirmed. “It was noticed that despite termination of the Endorsement agreement,’ Kamala Pasand’has ignored the same and is seen to continue Airing the TV Commercials.”
On his 79th birthday, Bachchan announced his departure from the ad campaign, claiming that he had no idea it was classified as surrogate advertising. Surrogate advertising is defined as a type of advertisement that uses the guise of another product to promote prohibited products such as cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol.
“Kamala Pasand…,” read a statement from the actor’s office at the time. “Mr. Bachchan contacted the Brand a few days after the commercial aired and left it last week. When the reason for this abrupt change was investigated, it was discovered that when Mr. Bachchan became affiliated with the Brand, he was unaware that it fell under the category of surrogate advertising. Mr. Bachchan has ended his contract with the Brand, contacted them to inform them of his decision, and returned the money received for the promotion.”
The actor had also responded to a person on social media who had questioned his decision a few days before the announcement. He had justified his position at the time, claiming that it was a part of the entertainment industry, which employs many people. Kamla Pasand’s “silver coated elaichi” was mentioned in the commercial, released in mid-September. The campaign, which also stars Ranveer Singh, was quickly condemned on social media and anti-tobacco organizations.