Hardik Pandya is dealt first severe blow on the brand endorsement pitch in the wake of his sexist comments on television chat show Koffee With Karan. Premium shaving blade brand Gillette has suspended its association with the Indian all-rounder.
The Boston, Massachusetts, based multinational personal care brand had launched the Gillette MACH 3 Start with Pandya in October last year.
“Hardik Pandya’s recent comments do not reflect the values of Gillette. We have suspended our association with Hardik until we decide on further course of action,” national daily Times of India has quoted a Gillette India spokesperson as saying.
Pandya and KL Rahul, who had appeared on the controversial Koffee with Karan episode, may face more trouble for their sexiest remarks on the show. Their comments have faced criticism from all quarters, leading the Board of Control of Cricket in India suspension pending an inquiry into the matter.
Marking the 20th birthday of MACH3, Gillette had launched the specially designed MACH 3 Start with its first-ever 360° aqua-grip handle targeting young consumers with Pandya as the face of the product.
The all-rounder may face more flak as other brands will take a cue from Gillette in the aftermath of the controversy. Pandya currently endorses seven brands, including Gulf Oil, D:FY, Star India, and Sin Denims.
KL Rahul, besides endorsing Puma, has also launched his own streetwear brand Gully.
Meanwhile, the players following the BCCI inquiry may also face a gag on appearing in such shows.
Former India offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who once shared the Mumbai dressing room with Pandya, in the online sports chatshow Sportstak has expressed apprehensions that team ownership will not take such comments lightly. “They, the Mukesh Ambani family, treat the team as their extended family and they will not accept these things in the family,” Harbhajan added on the show.