Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A discordant note for Abhishek Bachchan

Amidst the celebrations of his engagement to the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai and the success of Guru , comes a discordant note for Abhishek Bachchan.

Abhishek's one-year endorsement deal with Ford India for its successful mid-size sedan Fiesta, which began in November 2005, is not being renewed.

"Ford India is no longer associated with Abhishek Bachchan. Our contract with him has ended in December 2006 and we are not renewing it," Scott McCormack, vice-president for marketing, sales and service, Ford India is quoted as saying in a news report.

The company is believed to be of the view that the Fiesta brand has acquired enough equity to thrive without an ambassador.

Some insiders, however, say the company was not ready to pay a higher price for Abhishek, who started out with a string of flops but has, of late, seen a sharp appreciation in his market value triggered by box-office success.

"The experiment has obviously worked very well, which is reflected in the sales of the car. However, the agreement was for a year and has not been renewed," the report quoted Sunil Doshi, who handles Abhishek's endorsements.

Abhishek had earlier had another short-lived endorsement deal for Maruti's Versa, in whose commercials he had appeared along side his mega superstar father Amitabh Bachchan.

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