Celebrity endorsements are fairly popular and, to some extent, effective too. However, it is not uncommon for these celebrities to be embroiled in controversies as a result of promoting either questionable products or objectionable messages.
In the past, a handful of Bollywood actors have been involved in troublesome ads, which has landed them in hot water.
1. Akshay Kumar for Vimal
Akshay Kumar recently became a Vimal brand ambassador, following in the footsteps of Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan. People were not pleased with the choice, considering the actor has already spoken out against actors endorsing pan masala.
2. Saif Ali Khan for Pan Bahar
For a long time, Bollywood 'celebrities' have endorsed ‘pan masala products’ through surrogate products, and the list also includes Saif Ali Khan. In fact, the Delhi government wrote to the actor in 2015, urging that he stop promoting the product.
3. Yami Gautam for Fair and Lovely
Fairness cream Fair & Lovely, as well as its brand ambassador Yami Gautam, was previously accused of fostering colorism and racism. Following the backlash, the brand withdrew the word "fair" from its name and replaced it with "glow."
4. Shah Rukh Khan for Fair and Handsome
In a similar vein, Shah Rukh Khan was criticised for endorsing a men's fairness cream brand, Fair and Handsome. "If it is a product that is legal and on the market, I will never question it," the actor said in response to the uproar.
5. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for Kalyan Jewellers
Activists slammed Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for featuring in a 'racist' advertisement for the jewelry brand. The ad shows the actor reclining under a parasol carried over her head by a 'dark-skinned slave-boy,' according to the letter.
6. Sana Khan for Amul Macho
Sana Khan was featured in a men's underwear ad, which was slammed for exposing unwanted excessively sexual scenes. The commercial drew a lot of criticism and was eventually taken off.
7. Madhu Sapre and Milind Soman for Tuff
Madhu Sapre and Milind Soman's ad shoot for Tuff in 1995 caused quite a stir among the viewers. They posed nude, with only a pair of shoes on their feet and a python wrapped around their bodies, causing outrage across the nation.
8. Ranveer Singh for Jack and Jones
With an unpleasant punch line, Ranveer Singh posed with a woman thrown over his shoulder, insinuating that women are just objects. The sexist tone of the Jack and Jones commercial sparked controversy.
9. Sachin Tendulkar for Paytm
The Paytm ad, which depicted a kid, (presumably) a young Sachin Tendulkar being smacked, was highly panned on social media. The problematic message depicted in the commercial caused viewers to express their displeasure.
Slapping a child in an ad isn’t justified by putting a super. Sick. Cheering & supporting a team also isn’t a bad thing. It’s called sportsmanship. What a horrible ad. Shockingly bad message. Is this what you want to teach children? Or maybe I didn’t get it? 🤔 https://t.co/KeYI12z5I5— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) September 23, 2020
10. Hema Malini for Kent RO
Kent's Atta & Bread Maker ad, urged people to buy a tool that would allow them to knead dough without having to use their hands. Many people on social media slammed the campaign, accusing the brand of being "classist."
Please accept our sincere apologies for having published the Ad of Kent Atta & Bread Maker. It was unintentional but wrongly communicated and it has been withdrawn. We support and respect all sections of the society.— Kent RO (@KentROSystems) May 27, 2020
Mahesh Gupta, Chairman
11. Pierce Brosnan for Pan Bahar
Many Indians were angered by Pierce Brosnan's appearance in a Pan Bahar campaign, questioning why he was advocating a cancer-causing substance. However, the actor eventually admitted to Indian authorities that he had been "duped" by a mouth freshener company that had hired him to sell its product.
pic.twitter.com/EjWdy1XTDU Brexit has hit MI5 so hard that it's agents are advertising for pan masalas in India.— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) October 7, 2016
Like a moth to a flame, some celebrity endorsements just attracted viewers' wrath.