NEW DELHI (TIP): Bollywood actor Aamir Khan will no more be promoting India as an attractive tourist destination as McCann, the global advertisement agency, has not renewed his contract.
It came amid perception that the actor’s long association with the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign was purged as he recently joined the countrywide debate over “intolerance” recently.
As a result, the actor also does not remain the brand ambassador of the Government of India for promotion of Indian tourism products abroad.
Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma confirmed the news after day-long speculations in media over whether Aamir was part of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign of the government or not.
“Our contract was with the McCann Worldwide agency for ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign. The agency had hired Aamir for the job. Now the contract with the agency is over,” the minister told media, as pressure to clean the air on the issue increased by the evening.
He also sought to dispel notions about the role of his ministry in removing the actor from the campaign. He said:“The ministry has not hired Aamir Khan. It was the agency which has hired him. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists.”
When asked specifically if Aamir was still the tourism ministry’s brand ambassador, the minister categorically said: “Definitely not”. Earlier in the day, the ministry came out with a carefully drafted vague statement saying there was “no change in the stand of the ministry in this matter,”
“The ministry further clarifies that at present it has a contractual agreement with creative agency McCann Worldwide to produce social awareness campaign and the said campaign featured Aamir Khan,” it also said, apparently to draw its hands off from the issue.
McCann, however, remained tight-lipped on the issue, even as the speculation were rife here on media and netizens were posting pro and against comments on Aamir’s expulsion from the India tourism campaign.
“I have forwarded your request to our leadership n India,” McCann’s Chief Communications Officer Jeremy C. Miller told Deccan Herald, responding to a mail seeking clarification from the company.