The beverages major Coca-Cola had a contract with the Bollywood star Salman Khan which expired last month and the company has chosen not to renew it, according to industry sources.
The company dropped Salman Khan as brand ambassador for its soft drink ‘Thums Up’ after four years of association and the company is in talks with young star Ranveer Singh to replace him.
The company’s decision to not to renew the contract with the 50-year-old actor is more to do with the image of Coca-Cola, which is seen as a young brand, a source said.
“That explains why Coca-Cola is talking to a much younger star like Ranveer Singh,” they added.
Coca-Cola India had roped in Salman as its brand ambassador for the second time to endorse its Thums Up brand in October 2012 replacing another Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. He had earlier endorsed the brand in early 2000s.
Khan has been among the top celebrity endorsers reportedly charging Rs 5 crore per year per brand.
The company when contacted, declined to comment on this latest change.
At that time, Coca-Cola India had also signed an agreement with Being Human, The Salman Khan Foundation, to jointly promote, conceive and execute charitable and social activities
The decision comes just 20 days after the Bollywood superstar courted controversy by supporting Pakistani artists on the debate whether they should be allowed to work in Indian movies following the Uri attack. It’s not however clear whether Coca Cola India’s decision was influenced by this controversy.
Recently, the service tax division of the CBEC has reportedly asked the actors to disclose payments received from the likes of Yash Raj Films and Salman Khan Films. Sources in the glamour world believe the taxman is fishing for ‘high-profile’ defaulters as the onus of depositing service tax falls on the actors.