After receiving backlash for promoting a pan masala brand, actor Akshay Kumar announced that he had stepped back as an ambassador. At midnight, the actor took to Twitter and apologised to his fans, saying that he would be more cautious about the brands that he endorses in the future.
Akshay wrote, "I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me. While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I stepped back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause. The brand might continue airing the ads until the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return, I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes. " Akshay was seen in the brand’s latest advertisement, which also featured Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan.
In the recent promo, Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh welcomed Akshay to the "Vimal" universe, and they were all chewing on cardamon. This did not go down well with fans, as they argued that the actors were promoting harmful habits. Old videos of the actor vowing never to promote such products have begun doing the rounds on social media. Vimal employs surrogate advertising to sell products such as "gutka."
However, when Ajay Devgn was asked about similar backlash at a media interaction, he said, "It is a personal choice." He added, "When you do something, you also see how harmful it would be. Some things are harmful, some are not. I would say it without naming it because I don’t want to promote it; I was doing elaichi. What I feel is more than advertisements. If certain things are so wrong, then they should not be sold. "