Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who is known for his healthy lifestyle and fitness regime, has become the latest celebrity to face flak on social media because of his decision to join Vimal Elaichi’s endorsement club alongside Shahrukh Khan and Ajay Devgn.
On April 16, 2022, Vimal Elaichi posted an ad introducing Akshay Kumar as its latest brand endorser.
The ad was captioned as “Vimal ke chaahne waalon ko Akshay Kumar ka Vimal salaam. Singham aur King Khan ke baad apnepan ki zubaan bolne aa gaya hai sabse bada Khiladi. Ab sab ke labon pe hogi ek hi baat – Bolo Zubaan Kesari!”. The video has garnered over 15.27 lakh views in two days.
The Twitterati spent no time in digging out an earlier video where Kumar is seen speaking against the concept of celebrities endorsing harmful products, even in the form of surrogate advertising.
The new TVC by Vimal shows Devgn driving a car with Shah Rukh sitting next to him. Shah Rukh then says, “Let’s see who is this new player”. As the car moves on the roads, petals from the ‘Vimal Elaichi’ pack flow out of the car and finally it comes to a stop at an abandoned building where one is introduced to Kumar, who holds a packet of ‘Vimal Elaichi’ which is cut open by a sword.
The YouTube comment section of Vimal Elaichi started flooding with jokes and comments on Akshay joining the “Vimaluniverse”. For example, a user wrote, “No producer and director were able to cast these 3 biggies but Vimal does it,” A fan of Kumar commented, “Was always fan of your fitness, tips, acting, healthy habits no smoking and drinking habits. Was proud fan and said many times proud of my role model. Par aap toh Vimal khane lage."
It also took no time for a meme fest to begin around Kumar and Vimal Elaichi’s association.
Akshay Kumar Before and After Eating Vimal pic.twitter.com/QUJGWvNT5o— Unsocially M’idiotic (@m_idiotic) April 13, 2022
Bada adarshwadi bana firta tha, fir ye kyun? Paison ke liye, pic.twitter.com/s6IJ0mIiL3— robin kasana (@RobinKasana) April 13, 2022
Akshay Kumar through the years ????✌️ pic.twitter.com/3RcoTYT25F— Aarohi Tripathy ???????? (@aarohi_vns) April 13, 2022
According to ASCI (Advertising Standards Council India), by law, tobacco advertising is not allowed. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 or COTPA, 2003 is an Act of Parliament of India enacted in 2003 to prohibit the advertisement of, and to provide for the regulation of trade and commerce in, and production, supply and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products in India.
The ASCI code also has clear guidelines in place for advertising brand extensions of products whose advertising is prohibited by law. ASCI’s guidelines also state that celebrities should not participate in advertisements for products that by law require a health warning in their ads or packaging.
Therefore, tobacco and alcohol brands launch brand extensions in form of sauces, soda, water, music CDs and mouth fresheners and promote them through surrogate ads.