The linking of Brand Padukone with the drug cartel in Bollywood does not augur well for her endorsement deals. Experts say s her brand and her endorsement deals are bound to be affected.
The outspoken ad guru Prahlad Kakkar feels Deepika is paying a price for her impulsive behavior. “She visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2019 and showed her solidarity with allegedly anti-national elements. This is the price she’s paying for it.”
Kakkar thinks feels Deepika’s brand will be hit, albeit temporarily. “There’s no evidence,no case , no proof of any drug abuse against her as yet. And yet her image is tarnished temporarily. The brands that she endorses may not want to let her be visibly associated with their products for a while, until this whole furore dies down.They may just stop her from being the face of their product for a while.”
Kakkar feels certain consumer products do not want to be associated with any controversy. “Not all, mind you. But there is a certain kind of product that stays away from controversy .And these may temporarily decide to not air their endorsements with Deepika.After Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case ,Thums Up dropped him like a hot potato.”
Kakkar doesn’t see any such permanent damage being done to Deepika’s image. “She hasn’t done anything even remotely culpable. But she is a woman. And if you notice, so far only the female actors of Bollywood have been called in for questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau.”
Kakkar sees this as sheer sexism . “It exists everywhere in our society.Women from the Hindi film industry are being summoned for questioning about substance abuse because they’re low-lying fruits. Men can have multiple affairs and get away with it whereas if a woman even looks at a man she is considered wanton. That’s the way it is.”
How far would the current controversy affect Deepika’s brand name?Kakkar says the damage won’t be permanent. “But like I said, several products like to play it safe .They want the entire population to approve of the endorsement. The tilt against Deepika may be just a small percentage at the moment. But why would they want to take even that risk?”