This had to happen. It was one controversy waiting to explode. Ever since the Mcdowell’s No.1 advertisement featuring Mahender Singh Dhoni appeared on national television it raised eyebrows. It was a talking point at all the places ranging from the Pubs and Bars to the cricket grounds.
It wasn’t that Dhoni was endorsing a liqour brand which caught people by surprise, it’s a given nowadays that money makes people do strange things but let’s not go there. Apparently the commercial in question is a spoof on an earlier advertisement by Royal Stag which had Harbhajan Singh and what has irked the feisty sardar and his family is not just bhajji but even his late father has been made fun of.
So what’s the issue one may ask as this is not the first time that two brands are indulging in negative or competitive advertising. The issue is a sensitive one this time as it’s not about two brands but about two individuals who work together as members of our beloved Indian cricket team. Although Dhoni has made himself clear that he was only aware about his lines and had no clue about the actual story line, not many are buying this. Even if one believes for a moment that what the skipper is saying is indeed true, even then he could have simply asked the promoters of Mcdowell’s to take it off air once it started making news for all the wrong reasons. The kind of respect and authority Mahender Singh Dhoni enjoys it would not have been too hard for him to do the needful. However he chose not to interfere perhaps not realising that it is the responsibility of those involved with the ad and the star to ensure that the brand and the human brand are both not compromised.
Now the matter is in the court as Harbhajan’s family has gone for a legal action. He says”Dhoni told me he only knew his part of the ad. And had no idea how his lines will be used. I have nothing against him and the notice hasn’t been served to him, but to the UB group and the people who have made it. The contents of the ad are in very bad taste and I and my family have been hurt”.
Clearly one of the two parties, read Harbhajan Singh and Mahender Singh Dhoni, involved is using commonsense or perhaps Bhajji doesn’t want to annoy his skipper. Whatever the reason may be this was one thing which could have been avoided at the start of such an important series.