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Last Updated : Jun 27, 2020 02:31 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

From Priyanka Chopra to Virat Kohli: Star power is waning for fairness cream endorsements and more

Celebrities have also given up big paychecks if they didn’t agree with what brands were advocating.

It is not just endorsements for fairness creams where star power is waning.

From colas to fairness creams, celebrities have given a second thought to many brands they have endorsed and have moved away from endorsement deals if a brand doesn’t fit their lifestyle and consumption.

Currently, the debate over fairness cream endorsements has resurfaced with calls of Black Lives Matter getting stronger. Brands like Johnson & Johnson have exited fairness cream market. Hindustan Unilever is dropping the word 'fair' out of Fair & Lovely.


In addition, the argument of celebrities endorsing fairness products is also getting heated on social media. Recently actor Abhay Deol on social media asked if Indian celebrities would stop endorsing fairness creams now?

While there are celebrities who still endorse fairness products, many have dropped such products from their endorsements deals.

Celebrities have also given up big paychecks if they didn’t agree with what brands were advocating.

Reportedly, late Sushant Singh Rajput had turned down a Rs 15 crore endorsement deal for a fairness cream commercial.

Also, when there were rumours around Kangana Ranaut being offered a Rs 2 crore deal for a fairness brand, the actress had said that she never understood the concept of fairness.

Even Priyanka Chopra who had opened up about being insecure about her colour had in an interview said that she did endorse a fairness cream for a year but stopped later. Since then she said that she has been offered big endorsement deals but she turned them down.

When it comes to endorsing fairness creams, there is a long list of celebrities. From Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone to even actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, among others.

However, over the years, all of them have distanced themselves from fairness products.

And the same pattern is visible for cola brands as well.

Virat Kohli who endorsed Pepsi for six years since 2011, did not continue the deal which is up for renewal in 2017. The cricketer had said that he will not endorse products that he did not use or products that he did not believe in. Kohli has also backlisted fairness creams for endorsement deals.

Similarly, Amitabh Bachchan stopped endorsing Pepsi in 2014 after an eight-year long association with the brand. The actor had said that when a young girl questioned him about promoting a product that is full of negative ingredients, he made the decision to drop the endorsement.

Brand experts say that celebrities nowadays are making more informed decisions and they are taking a stand.

But many celebrities are also concerned about social media backlash. But celebrities and brands have faced backlash even offline.

For example, Malayalam actor Mammootty who found himself in a legal soup in 2015 when a consumer of Indulekha’s skin whitening product moved the court regarding false claims by both the brand and the brand ambassador.

Mammootty was the brand ambassador of Indulekha’s white soap. Complainant K. Chaathu had said that the actor’s appearance in the ad for the whitening soap had increased the credibility of the product.

Hailing from a village of Kerala, Chaathu had said that people in his village believe what celebrities say. And this is why he said that celebrities should be more responsible to society.

Also, Chaathu was paid a compensation of Rs 30,000 in an out of court settlement by Indulekha.

In fact, in the same year (2015), Shah Rukh Khan who was endorsing Emami’s Fair and Handsome fairness cream landed in legal trouble. A user of the product moved the court saying that despite using the fairness cream for three weeks he did not see any difference. The company was asked to withdraw the advertisement.
First Published on Jun 27, 2020 02:31 pm