Will our celebrities ever own up responsibility for anything?

Rohit Chandavarkar
Friday, 23 February 2018

On Friday a news alert appeared on most portals which said actress Priyanka Chopra has announced termination of the contract between her and diamond merchant Nirav Modi because of the revelations about his involvement in Rs. 11,300 crore scam which has hit the second largest public sector bank in India, the Punjab National Bank. Priyanka was the leading brand ambassador among many of the Nirav Modi brand of diamonds.

On Friday a news alert appeared on most portals which said actress Priyanka Chopra has announced termination of the contract between her and diamond merchant Nirav Modi because of the revelations about his involvement in Rs. 11,300 crore scam which has hit the second largest public sector bank in India, the Punjab National Bank. Priyanka was the leading brand ambassador among many of the Nirav Modi brand of diamonds.

Some messages posted as jokes on popular social media application Whatsapp said “behind every successful man there is a woman and behind every successful fraudster there is a Bollywood brand ambassador”! Obviously the Whatsapp post hit the nail on its head. Because we saw earlier that behind Vijay Mallya’s brand promotion there were many Bollywood faces and behind Lalit Modi’s brands too there were similar personalities.

This brings us to the question, will Bollywood brand ambassadors ever own up the responsibility for any product they promote? Priyanka Chopra promoted Nirav Modi diamonds, now it has transpired that Nirav went on doing massive over-valuation of the diamonds. Some of Nirav’s former employees say Nirav sold diamonds that were actually worth Rs.1 lakh for something like Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 lakh! So many years even before the Punjab National Bank scam broke, it is obvious that Nirav was cheating thousands of customers and perhaps one of the reasons the customers paid such a huge price for the diamonds was because they trusted Priyanka endorsing the diamonds! If Punjab National Bank scam had not happened Priyanka Chopra would not have terminated her contract with this jeweller but still cheating thousands of customers every year and selling them products for 10 times the original price would have continued with Priyanka supporting the product!

Most Bollywood actors make crores out of endorsing various products. A successful actor like Amitabh Bachchan is known to charge as high as Rs. 5 crore for every endorsement. Should these celebrities not own up any responsibility if the product is either defective or is massively over-valued?

The crux of the issue is Indians depend too much on Bollywood personalities for marketing each and every type of product. Nowhere in the world this much dependence on actors to sell every kind of product or service is seen. From bathroom tiles to computers and from cars to real estate, every kind of product is being marketed today only by actors. But when the product seems to be below expectations or the promoter of the product is caught cheating the public, none of the faces who do the endorsement are ever blamed for the loss. Its time to think whether we should continue to trust these actors blindly!

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