Controversial celebrity endorsements

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has been heavily trolled online for endorsing Rajnigandha.

Sharma is the new brand ambassador of Rajnigandha Pearls and earlier this week, the actress took to social media to share a video of the TV commercial she shot for the brand. “Let goodness shine,” she captioned the post.

The ad features Sharma as the showstopper at a fashion show where she helps a fellow model by preventing a wardrobe malfunction. She is then seen consuming Rajnigandha Pearls, which is believed to be a mouth freshener.

A description of the product reads: “Rajnigandha Pearls are made from handpicked cardamom seeds and coated with pure silver leaves. It is blended with saffron to elevate the mouth-freshening experience. This new format of traditional Elaichi has a strong, unique taste, with an intense aromatic fragrance is sure to excite the mouth freshener connoisseurs with its authentic and reinvented flavour.”

Sharma has received a lot of flak on social media for endorsing the product.

One tweet read, “Just saw @AnushkaSharma endorsing Rajnigandha silver pearls supari. Husband (@imVkohli ) says he will not sell products that are harmful, wife sells supari and schools ppl on civic issues with a camera crew. Salute!”

Another added: “@AnushkaSharma did not expect a responsible person like you to advertise a gutkha manufacturing company product. Rajnigandha makes products which lead to cancer and other diseases. Even your husband is legally prohibited from endorsing such products…why are you doing it?”

Interestingly, Sharma is not the first celebrity to land in trouble for endorsing a product/ company.

Here are some other ads that landed celebrities in trouble.

Amitabh Bachchan: All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, an organisation claiming to have a membership of around 3,20,000 officers, in 2018 threatened to sue Kalyan Jewellers accusing it of “casting aspersion and hurting the sentiments of millions of personnel” through one of their advertisements.

In the ad, Bachchan, depicted as a person with integrity and honesty, is seen visiting a bank branch along with his daughter to return the extra money credited in his pension account and his bitter encounter with bank employees in the process.

Ranveer Singh: Innerwear brand Rupa Frontline landed in trouble with PETA after one of its ads featured actor Ranveer Singh hitting a shark. This prompted the company to issue a clarification that the shark shown in the ad was a rubber toy and that no animal was used in the shoot.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Kalyan Jewellers received a lot of backlashes after it came out with a controversial advertisement featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The ad was called racist as it featured the actress reclining under a parasol held over her head by a dark-skinned slave-boy.