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A worker of an electronic showroom put up a poster at the electronic showroom declared that they do not sell Chinese brands, at Ulubari in Guwahati on Wednesday, as a protest against the Chinese aggression on Indian soil and opening fire on Indian side in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. (ANI Photo)
A worker of an electronic showroom put up a poster at the electronic showroom declared that they do not sell Chinese brands, at Ulubari in Guwahati on Wednesday, as a protest against the Chinese aggression on Indian soil and opening fire on Indian side in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred. (ANI Photo)

Brand endorsements under lens

Traders’ body CAIT is set to approach celebrities and urge them to not endorse Chinese products like Vivo and Oppo

NEW DELHI : Bollywood actors and celebrities who have been promoting Chinese brands such as Vivo, Oppo or Xiaomi are likely to face pressure as anti-China sentiment becomes stronger and a wave of boycotting Chinese products has taken over the country with people dumping their television sets and phone devices to express their anger.

Traders' association Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Wednesday said that it will approach celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Vicky Kaushal, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif (Oppo smartphone) Virat Kohli, Amir Khan (Vivo) and Ranveer Singh ( Xiaomi) to name a few and motivate them to give up these endorsements keeping in view the sentiments of Indian citizens.

"In the wake of the recent developments against China, it will be in the interest of the nation if top Indian Celebrities immediately stop endorsing Chinese mobile brands," said CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal.

With its massive manufacturing capabilities and affordable pricing, Chinese products have a strong hold in the India market in categories such as smartphones, consumer durables and electronics. These brands also spend heavy duty advertising and promotion budgets across television, print, outdoor and digital platforms. Vivo India, for instance, has invested heavily in Indian cricket retaining the title sponsorship of Indian Premier League (IPL) for 2,199 crore for five years.

Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai- based marketing and communication agency said that impact on celebrity endorserment will depend on how loud and vicious 'Boycott Chinese products' campaign gets.

"If endorsing Chinese brands is seen to be stigmatic, celebrities may not have any choice but to steer clear. Aamir's reaction is difficult to predict but other celebrities may keep a low profile. Though, existing contracts will be difficult to renege on citing anti-China sentiment," he added.

Harish Bijoor, brand strategy specialist and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. said that stars might feel under pressure from their followers who would wish them to stop endorsing Chinese brands.

"We live in the era of social media and therefore a hashtag boycott of a celebrity because he or she endorses a Chinese brand is a possibility. If consumers start getting upset to see their Bollywood stars plugging a China made brand then the equity of the star will also be lost," he noted.

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