Amitabh Bachchan is appalled. The veteran actor, who joined the government’s Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan as campaign ambassador, finds himself accused of endorsing the initiative’s brand sponsor – GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Horlicks. Mission Poshan, as it is called, focuses on the first 1,000 days of a child with the objective of addressing malnutrition, stunting and infant mortality. The Big B was persuaded to come on board by a leading media group.
Mr. Bachchan first did an extensive research on Mission Poshan after which he agreed to lead the charitable campaign without endorsing its title brand. The actor was to be part of the many awareness camps planned by ‘Horlicks Mission Poshan’ in schools and villages and even join a 12-hour live telethon on the subject. India has the maximum number of children in the world suffering from malnutrition and the objective of the program was to increase awareness on it. The Big B expressed his support on Twitter and Facebook.
T 2823 –
I am taking the 1st step by joining the biggest movement to fight malnutrition @MissionPoshan, @Network18Group and @Horlicks_india to support India's Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan @MissionPoshan @narendramodi @Manekagandhibjp @NITIAayog @amitabhk87@PoshanAbhiyaan. pic.twitter.com/pccGBO1CTj
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) May 31, 2018
Soon after, Mr. Bachchan was surprised to read media reports of his endorsement of Horlicks with health experts and others expressing concern and asking him to withdraw his support to the brand. Sources say there was no legal contract drawn up and money paid as is the norm because Mr. Bachchan was not endorsing Horlicks – but only Mission Poshan led by the brand. He then informed GSK Consumer Healthcare that he was withdrawing from all official association but would wholeheartedly support the larger cause – Mission Poshan, free of cost, as he had done with numerous other campaigns in the past.
And it is true, Mr. Bachchan has spearheaded several noble causes started by different groups none of which have required a direct endorsement or brand ambassadorship as is the case with Mission Poshan. The actor let it be known that he has belief in the matter of malnutrition and its relevant campaigns and would continue to work towards it but not if it is linked to a brand.