Certain brands are reducing the visibility of ads featuring Deepika Padukone following her PR stunt at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Economic Times has reported. The Bollywood actress had visited the campus to show her solidarity with the Leftists at JNU who were responsible for initiating the cycle of violence at the University.
As per the Economic Times report, brands are also expected to insert clauses in future endorsement deals to factor in risks associated with such political PR stunts. “We have been told by a mid-sized brand to stall ads featuring Deepika for about two weeks. Hopefully, the controversy would have normalised by then,” an executive at a media buying agency was reported to have said.
However, not everyone shares the same opinion. Krossover Entertainment managing director Vinita Bangard said, “I don’t think brands will back down from the current Deepika controversy. She believed in something and stood by it. While brands prefer an apolitical stand, celebrities who have a point of view should be free to express it.”
“I don’t believe there will be a brand backlash for celebrities who’ve spoken their points of view,” said Atul Kasbekar, managing director of Bling Entertainment. The latter’s clients include Sonam Kapoor and Vidya Balan.
Another top celebrity management company head said, “We are telling our celebrity clients the pros and cons of speaking up on political matters. While it’s entirely their personal choice, these can snowball into sensitive matters either way.”
Deepika Padukone’s latest movie, Chhapaak, which depicts the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, performed below expectations at the Box Office following her antics at JNU. People on social media had given calls for a boycott and the movie’s box office collections pale in comparison to Tanhaji, Ajay Devgan’s movie, which tells the tale of Tanaji, the brave Maratha warrior who captured Sinhagadh for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.