After screen legend Amitabh Bachchan decided to stop promoting Pepsi after a child asked him why he was promoting poison, the Central Consumer Protection Council advocated that celebrities promoting brands which give out false information about their products, should also held responsible and liable, Bollywood stars seem to be slightly conscious of what they need to answer, while some of them seemed completely clueless about it.
"Even the celebrities must pay compensation in case there is a complaint," was the dictat. And now the celebrities too seem to have gotten very conscious of these rules.
We bumped into a few celebrities at various events and got a variety of reactions as well. Arbaaz Khan who seemed to be a tad clueless about the development, was also skeptical about the query which was addressed to him on whether it had any relevance to the function when he entered an event organized by a cell phone company. On explaining the clause to him, he was quick to pass the buck. “The Government needs to approve products first. Only after they are passed, they should be endorsed. If the Government is passing the products, then why put a finger on the celebrity?” he asked.
But then Arbaaz’s wife Malaika welcomed the move. “If there is a rule like this now, it is good. I think it’s a good thing because no one will say anything false and no one will promote anything that is untrue,” she said.
A talented actress like Konkona Sen Sharma also wanted to side step the query. “I am not interested in these business questions. I don’t know,” is all she had to offer.
Sonakshi Sinha was initially a tad too surprised and uncomfortable at the query. “We need to be very careful if this is true,” she said. But then she added quickly, “Celebrities should now think properly and only then endorse products.” Sonakshi rightly supports the move now being a responsible citizen and the daughter of one of India’s well known filmstars and politicians Shatrughan Sinha.
Top Bollywood star Katrina Kaif endorses a large number of brands and when we posed the query to her, she got a bit conscious.
“If the law has already been passed, I think it is very good; it’s going to make the actor and the brand a little more responsible and careful; we should never mislead people,” she said. But then the pretty actress adds that she behaves very responsibly while choosing the brands that she wants to endorse. “I am pretty conscious and careful when endorsing a brand, I am confident about it,” she added.
But then there are some people who seriously support the cause unconditionally.
Actress Dia Mirza said, “I think it’s a very good law and I think it’s very important when you are a public personality and associated with a product you are in many ways responsible for what that product is doing.”
Most of Bollywood’s top ranked celebrities are into endorsing brands and one of Bollywood’s biggest talent managers who gets stars to endorse brands – photographer and talent manager Atul Kasbekar says that the legal eagles will get busy now. “Lawyers of celebrities will now add a clause more to the contracts now and the celebrities will become more responsible as well,” he signs off.
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