Coca Cola did not ‘drop’ Salman Khan, company issues statement

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Beverages major Coca Cola India has issued a joint clarification with hugely popular Bollywood actor Salman Khan on why the latter was dropped from being a brand ambassador for Thums Up.

In a joint statement, the company said the reason had nothing to do with the actor’s recent statement on Pakistani actors, but it was linked to conflict of interest.

The statement, being shared on social media platform Twitter, read, “Salman Khan was committed to an existing relationship with a daily TV show, which this year happens to be sponsored by a brand that competes with the Coca-Cola India product portfolio.

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“In light of this, both parties have mutually decided not to renew their current contract. We do not have any further information to provide at this point.”

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Coca Cola had on Wednesday 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 contract with Salman had expired last month and the company has chosen not to renew it, according to industry sources.

When contacted, Coca Cola India originally declined to comment prompting social media users to speculate the reason for the company to part ways with the popular actor.

Many linked the decision to Salman’s recent show of support for Pakistani actors against the raging demand by right-wing Hindutva brigade to ban them from Bollywood.

The Bajrangi Bhaijan had recently thrown his weight behind Pakistani actors working in Bollywood after right-wing groups demanded their ban in the Hindi film industry.

Salman had said that artistes from Pakistan should not be treated like terrorists and art and terrorism should not be mixed.

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