Salman khan-PTI

Like Milkha Singh’s 400m run at the 1960 Rome Olympics, the Indian Olympic Association too looked back to see what was going on and botched up the race. They somehow felt Sallu bhai was the right emulsion between hit-and-run and track-and-field. Expectedly, the discus boomeranged back and now, the IOA is doing what it should have done before – rope in Sachin Tendulkar.

Salman Khan’s personal controversies have strangely affected the IOA, which has now become guilty-by-association. But Salman is actually a good choice to promote anything. He’s popular with the masses – has back-to-back blockbusters under his belt – and if bhai says support the Rio Olympics squad, the entire country would.

We hear music composer AR Rahman and shooter Abhinav Bindra too are in the mix. The move could have come before IOA shot themselves in the foot. For now though, while the IOA’s wounds are still healing, Salman has been well-advised to keep quiet. Milkha, however, wants in.

The other Khan

Two words?  – snap deal. At least that’s what fellow Khan, Aamir, got for expressing his opinion (or is it that of his wife) in an event in November last year. “She said, should we move out of India? She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be… That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet,” he had said, seen as remarks to the then debate of “rising intolerance”.

Khan didn’t speak as the brand ambassador of e-commerce giant Snapdeal, but rather as a husband. But was he given the benefit of the doubt?

Na. Who cares, right? People boycotted the website and uninstalled the app from their phones. It obviously led to a few frantic moments at the Snapdeal setup but according to app data aggregator, the Snapdeal app bettered its rank to No 20 from No 25 and was ranked No 3 among shopping apps.

For Snapdeal, the episode was a DilKiDeal while Khan, subsequently let go this February, got a Nakli.

Tiger back into Woods

A few years ago, 2009 to be precise, golfer Tiger Woods was hit by a sex scandal. He admitted to have cheated on his wife by sleeping with “many many” women. And consulting firm Accenture straightaway terminated its ties with Woods. Kellogg’s too had dropped swimming champ Michael Phelps for smoking a bong.

“When you live by the icon, you can die by the icon,” Eric Dezenhall, a crisis marketing consultant, had claimed to Forbes magazine after the Woods episode. and author

That was true for Accenture. But not for Snapdeal or IOA.


The entire episode has reminded branding to think twice before zeroing in on anyone who’s famous. Choosing an actor for a sports brand made ex-stars question what was the need. If any cricketer is picked, say MS Dhoni for example, then the point of whether he remotely participated or knew about spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League creeps in. Anyone like a Sunny Leone and there are thousands just waiting to drag her and the brand to court over it. If brands do not want their product affected, the trend points out it’s best to go with a veteran actor, former cricketer or anyone who thinks twice before saying anything that may invite trouble.

Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor (Strategy & Marketing)
CEO at Unspun Consulting Group