Sara Ali Khan: Vivo will not use Aamir, Sara in advertisements for next few months as a response to Sino-Indian hostility

Sara Ali Khan: Vivo will not use Aamir, Sara in advertisements for next few months as a response to Sino-Indian hostility

New Delhi: Chinese smartphone maker Vivo won’t use brand ambassadors Aamir Khan and Sara Ali Khan in its advertising campaigns over the next few months, including the upcoming IPL, in what’s said to be a fallout from the recent Sino-Indian border hostilities. This follows demands that Indian stars stop endorsing Chinese brands.

“Vivo will advertise new phone launches in the coming months including the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 for which it is title sponsor, but none of the new phones will be promoted by actors Aamir or Sara despite their star power,” said an industry executive aware of the development.

Vivo India’s spokesperson didn’t respond to queries.

Aamir Khan, who featured prominently on Vivo’s Twitter handle, is no longer visible there or on the mobile phone maker’s home page. The Dangal star has 26.3 million followers on Twitter and 3.4 million followers on Instagram. He’s known to charge about ₹4 crore per day for brand shoots, which translates into an annual endorsement fee of ₹12-15 crore. He was signed up by Vivo in early 2018.

“While contracts can’t be terminated and they will continue to full term unless a force majeure clause is invoked, a scaling down of advertising showing celebrities upfront is expected for the time being,” said Manish Porwal, managing director at talent management firm Alchemist Marketing & Talent Solutions. “This is to avoid any possible backlash in terms of consumer sentiment for the celebrities who are household names.”

The Chinese technology giant, which has an ongoing five-year, ₹2,000-crore-plus title sponsorship deal with the IPL starting 2018, pays the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ₹440 crore per season.

This is the first example of a large Chinese brand deciding not to use celebrities in its advertising after the border skirmish in June.


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